Welcome to the Nano Energy Laboratory
The Nano Energy Laboratory features Nano Energy from multiple disciplines in materials science, physics, and engineering at Northeastern University. It emphasizes the basic and applied study of small-scale thermal transport through multifunctional materials with advanced thermal, optical, electromagnetic properties, super-hydrophobicity, self-adaptivity, high-temperature resistance, and self-cleaning and fire-retardant features. These materials can be applied in the areas of renewable energy harvesting, thermophotovoltaics, passive radiative cooling, solar desalination and purification, thermo rectification devices, and nanoscale opto-thermal sensing. Recently, Prof. Zheng’s research focus is on transforming sustainable biomass-derived composites such as cellulose fibers and farm waste to recyclable, cost-effective functional materials.
Prof. Zheng is an Associate Professor at the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, an Affiliate Associate Professor at the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, and the Director of Nano Energy Laboratory at Northeastern University in Boston, MA, United States. Prior to joining Northeastern, Prof. Zheng was an assistant professor from 2014 to 2019 and promoted to associate professor with tenure in 2019 at the University of Rhode Island in Kingston, RI, United States. His research interests include theoretical, computational, and experimental investigations on enhanced energy transport phenomena, thermal/optical/electromagnetic sensing, advanced functionalities of photonic metamaterials and sustainable biomass-derived composites, and their applications in energy conversion, storage, and harvesting systems, thermophotovoltaics, wavelength selective thermal emitters/absorbers, near-field thermal diodes and transistors, passive radiative cooling, solar-driven steam generation and water desalination technique.
Prof. Zheng received his Ph.D. and M.S. in mechanical engineering from Columbia University (New York, NY, USA) in 2014 and 2011, and B.S. in mechanical engineering from Tsinghua University (Beijing, China) in 2009. As a principal investigator, Prof. Zheng has been awarded the 2020 Soleeva Energy Innovation Award, 2020 Gorlov Innovation Prize, 2019 NSF CAREER Award, 2019 ONR NIUVT Grant, 2018 NASA RID Research Award, 2017 NSF RI EPSCoR Research Grant, 2017 NIH RI-INBRE Early Career Development Award, 2016 NIH RI-INBRE Pilot Research Development Award, 2016 Rhode Island Foundation Research Fund, 2015 RI-STAC Research Grant, and 2015 URI Council for Research Grant. He also received research funding from Champlin Foundations, Amazon, Modular Thermal Technologies, LLC (North Kingstown, RI, USA), and Life Wear Technologies, LLC (Pompano Beach, FL, USA). Prof. Zheng serves as an editorial board member for Scientific Reports and associate editor for Journal of Photonics for Energy, and reviewer for peer-reviewed journals, such as Nature Communications, Nano Energy, Physical Review Letters, Applied Physics Letters, Scientific Reports, Nano Letters, and serves as topic/session chair at international conferences, such as ASME IMECE Conference and ASME Summer Heat Transfer Conference.
Acknowledgments of Federal, State, and Industrial Research Funding Support