Visiting Associate Professor 2015-2016
Hosted by the Department of Mechanical Engineering
Baratunde Cola is an Associate Professor at the Georgia Institute of Technology. He "seeks to develop new science and technology exploiting energy transport processes at the nanoscale to excite, educate, and employ the world".
Research interests: thermal management of electronics, energy transport and conversion at the nanoscale, and applications of carbon nanotubes
Using nanometer-scale components, researchers have demonstrated the first optical rectenna, a device that combines the functions of antennas and a rectifier diodes to convert light directly into DC current.
Optical rectennas could provide new technology for photodetectors, energy harvesters that convert waste heat to electricity – and ultimately more efficient solar energy capture.
Baratunde Cola is an Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology. He "seeks to develop new science and technology exploiting energy transport processes at the nanoscale to excite, educate, and employ the world".
Dr. Cola's research interests are heat transfer, combustion and energy systems, and micro and nano engineering. These include: Nanoengineering; energy transport and conversion in nanostructures; nanomaterials synthesis; thermal properties measurements; thermo-electrochemical energy conversion; and thermal transport in polymers and molecular junctions.
He earned his B.E. and M.S. from Vanderbilt University in 2002 and 2004, respectively. During those six years, he was "an engaged student and a starting fullback on the football team". Dr. Cola went on to conduct research on thermal applications of carbon nanotubes at Purdue University, where he earned his PhD in 2008 and and Outstanding Dissertation Award from the College of Engineering.
Past employment includes an internship as a Test Research and Development Engineer at Intel Corporation in 2007 and a visiting scholar position at the University of Texas at Dallas. In 2009, Dr. Cola joined the faculty at Georgia Tech as an Assistant Professor.
In 2011, Dr. Cola received an ASME IPACK Thermal Management Outstanding Paper Award and a National Science Foundation CAREER Award. A year later, he was honored by PECASE with a 2012 Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers.
Dr. Cola is particularly interested in investigating energy transport through interfaces and nanosized contacts, which are ubiquitous in nanostructured devices. His students learn to conduct research as part of an interdisciplinary team and to apply fundamental principles from science and engineering to solve problems that enable technologies supporting clean energy solutions, smaller and more affordable electronics, and general improvements to global living standards.
The MIT Department of Mechanical Engineering will host Dr. Cola as a 2015-2016 Visiting Associate Professor.
B.A. Cola and T.S. Fisher. Electrothermal Interface Material Enhancer. U.S. Patent 8,220,530, issued July 17, 2012. [pdf]
T.S. Fisher, S.L. Hodson, B.A. Cola, T. Bhuvana, and G. Kulkarni. Palladium Thiolate Bonding of Carbon Nanotubes. U.S. Patent 8,541,058, issued September 24, 2013. [pdf]
B.A. Cola and T.S. Fisher. Methods for Attaching Carbon Nanotubes to a Carbon Substrate. U.S. Patent 8,919,428, issued December 30, 2014. [pdf]
A. Sharma, V. Singh, T.L. Bougher, and B.A. Cola. A Carbon Nanotube Optical Rectenna. Nature Nanotechnology, online. [link]
M.K. Smith, V. Singh, K. Kalaitizdou, and B.A. Cola. Poly(3-hexylthiophene) Nanotube Array Surfaces with Tunable Wetting and Contact Thermal Energy Transport. ACS Nano, 9(2):1080-1088, 2015. [pdf]
P.F. Salazar, S.T. Stephens, A.H. Kazim, J.M. Pringle, and B.A. Cola. Enhanced Thermo-electrochemical Power using Carbon Nanotube Additives in Ionic Liquid Redox Electrolytes. Journal of Materials Chemistry A, 2(48):20676-20682, 2014. [pdf]
V. Singh, T.L. Bougher, A. Weathers, Y. Cai, K. Bi, M.T. Pettes, S.A. McMenamin, W. Lv, D.P. Resler, T.R. Gattuso, D.H. Altman, K.H. Sandhage, L. Shi, A. Henry, and B.A. Cola. High Thermal Conductivity of Chain-Oriented Amorphous Polythiophene. Nature Nanotechnology, 9:384-390, 2014. [link]
J.H. Taphouse, O.L. Smith, S.R. Marder, and B.A. Cola. A Pyrenylpropyl Phosphonic Acid Surface Modifier for Mitigating the Thermal Resistance of Carbon Nanotube Contacts. Advanced Functional Materials, 24:465-471, 2014. [pdf]
TALK: MIT Black Graduate Student Association (BGSA) Community Lunch, 2 Oct 2015
PAPER: Included in pre-lab readings for Nanomakers (6.S079) undergraduate course, Spring 2013
Hu, Renchong, Baratunde A. Cola, et al. "Harvesting Waste Thermal Energy Using a Carbon-Nanotube-Based Thermo-Electrochemical Cell." Nano Letters 10, no. 3 (2010): 838–46.