Electrical and Computer Engineering

WIMS Seminar

Thermal Processing and Thermal Measurements at Extremely Small Scales:

Professor William P. King
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William P. King, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering
Georgia Institute of Technology

This talk describes research on thermal processing and thermal measurements at length scales from 10 nm – 50 um, with applications in manufacturing, surface analysis, electronics cooling, energy management, and data storage. The research includes development of microelectromechanical systems (MEMS)-based tools for instrumentation and manufacturing. In one research thrust, silicon micromachined atomic force microscope (AFM) cantilevers have been fabricated with integrated heaters. When the nanometer-scale cantilever tip is in contact with a surface, the area of contact is the smallest controlled heat source ever produced. As such it can be used for data storage, surface analysis, and novel nanofabrication processes. I will describe the engineering of these cantilevers, their use as a nanometer-scale soldering iron, and their use to characterize micron-scale liquid flows. In another research thrust, three-dimensional silicon micromachined surfaces are used in a hot embossing forming process, where features as small as 10 nm can be replicated in thermoplastic substrates. This technique has been used to manufacture micrometer scale and nanometer scale features in biomaterials for use as tissue scaffolds. Simulations of polymer flow at these small length scales aid in the rational process design. Finally, the talk describes measurements and simulations of sub-continuum thermal transport in rarefied gasses and nanometer-scale metal structures.

William P. King earned his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering in 2002 from Stanford University. From 1999-2001 he spent 1.5 years working as a member of the research staff at IBM Zurich Research Laboratory, in the Micro/Nano-Mechanics group, working on “Millipede” Thermomechanical data storage. Since 2002 Dr. King has been Assistant Professor in the Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology. He is the winner of the National Science Foundation CAREER Award (2003) and the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) from Department of Energy (2005). He advises 10 students and is the author of over 20 journal articles.

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WIMS ERC Seminar Series