Phase Change Nanoparticles for Enhanced Cooling, Barcoding, Biosensing and Bioimaging

Nanomaterials are often studied for their electronic, magnetic, mechanical and chemical properties. We have studied the unique thermal properties of nanoscale phase change materials, i.e., nano-PCMs. This group of materials may have any chemical compositions, as long as there is a solid-liquid phase transition when the temperature is changed. We have designed and made a number of nano-PCMs of metallic and organic materials based on their large latent heats of fusion and composition-dependent melting points. These nano-PCMs have been used to solve challenging engineering issues such as heat transfer enhancement of fluids and thermal runaway prevention of catalytic reactors or electrochemical cells, biological issues such as multiplexed biomarker detection, enhanced breast thermography for cancer early screening, and brain cooling for post-injury brain damage minimization, and sustainability issues such as anti-counterfeiting with covert thermal barcodes that can be added into objects.

Dr. Ming Su received his PhD from Department of Materials Science and Engineering at Northwestern University. He is an associate professor and associate chair for graduate studies at Department of Chemical Engineering at Northeastern University. He has gained experience in nanomaterials, nanomedicines and biomedical technologies. Dr. Su has pioneered the uses of encapsulated phase change nanoparticles to enhance heat transfer of fluids, to detect multiple cancer biomarkers and to label objects as covert barcodes. He has received many prestigious awards such as a Faculty Early Career Development Award from National Science Foundation (NSF), a Concept Award from Department of Defense (DOD), a Director’s New Innovator Award from National Institute of Health (NIH), a Doctoral New Investigator from American Chemical Society (ACS), and a Eugene P. Wigner Fellowship from Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), among others.