MERC Research

The Multiphysics Energy Center is focused on solar energy, building energy and electric vehicles.

Current projects include:

  • Surface Science & Plasma Technology
  • Energy Storage Systems
  • Solar & Building Energy
  • Energy Efficiency
  • Advanced Materials
  • Power Composites for Energy Systems
  • Nuclear Energy
  • Thermal Management of Power Systems

Other approaches and energy sources of interest include:

  • Power Plants
  • Photovoltaic (PV) Cells
  • Thermoelectric Generators
  • Fuel Cells
  • Ejector Refrigeration
  • Liquid/Solid Absorption
  • Radiation Sky Cooling
  • Energy Storage Systems
  • Hot Water Production
  • Evaporative Cooling
  • Freshwater Production
  • Power Electronics Cooling
  • Battery Thermal Management
  • Charger Cooling
  • HVAC

The center leverages the following existing labs and facilities:

Center of Thermal Management, which is fully equipped with experimental systems and facilities for heat pipes, electronics cooling, ejector refrigeration, phase change heat transfer. Director: Curators’ Distinguished Professor Hongbin Bill Ma

Lab of Structured Materials and Dynamics which is equipped with experimental systems and facilities for multifunctional materials and composite testing including mechanical wave measurement, vibration testing, acoustic property testing, noise control measurement. Director: Craft Chair of Engineering Guoliang Huang

Dynamic Materials Testing and Energy Efficiency lab, which is equipped with equipment for polymer composite materials fabrication and materials characterization, high strain rate materials testing over a range of strain rates and range of temperature, thermal and electrical energy flow measurements in industrial systems. Director: Professor Sanjeev Khanna

Advanced Nanostructures lab for the synthesis and characterization of nanoscale materials. The lab features two chemical vapor deposition furnaces, an ion-beam sputtering system, photolithography, and nanoindentation. Director: Associate Professor Matt Maschmann

TherMEC lab which has a flow loop, resonant ultrasound spectroscopy facilities, a low temperature cooling stage, photolithographic capabilities, and a computational mini-cluster. Director: Associate Teaching Professor Gary Solbrekken

Professor Chad Xing’s research labs are equipped with three bench-top chemical hoods for materials synthesis and characterization. One lab is dedicated to the study of batteries and energy materials, another lab is dedicated to electrochemistry and electrocatalysis. The labs are equipment with three Electrochemical Work Stations, a battery cycler, two battery grade gloveboxes, two high temperature furnaces, and a spin coater.

Surface Science and Plasma Technology Research Labs, which are equipped with various non-thermal plasma reactor systems and surface characterization instruments for surface treatment and modification of engineering materials. Director: Qingsong Yu.

Contact Information:

Hongbin “Bill” Ma
Chair, Curators’ Distinguished Professor, Glen A. Barton Professor
E2412A Lafferre Hall