[Multiscale Research & Engineering Laboratory]

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home-slideshow Multiscale Research & Engineering Laboratory (MREL) is a research group of Prof. Shalabh C. Maroo in the L. C. Smith College of Engineering and Computer Science, Syracuse University. The group's research interests are highly multidisciplinary, in the areas of multi-scale transport phenomenon, thermal management, and bio-mechanical systems with a focus on energy and water desalination, and an emphasis on using the fundamentals of nano-science and nano-technology to build efficient macro-scale mechanical systems.


9/3/15: Sumith's paper published in The Journal of Physical Chemistry (JPC) Letters: "Surface-Heating Algorithm for Water at Nanoscale"

1/15/15: Dr. Maroo and MREL awarded NSF CAREER on "Experimental and Numerical Study of Nanoscale Evaporation Heat Transfer for Passive-Flow Driven High-Heat Flux Devices" (Award # 1454450)

6/11/14: MREL awarded NSF funding on "EAGER: Experimental Determination of Non-Evaporating Film Thickness in Pool Boiling" (Award # 1445946)

4/18/14: Nikolay wins the 2014-2015 Remembrance Scholarship!

11/25/13: An's paper published in Applied Physics Letters: "Critical height of micro/nano structures for pool boiling heat transfer enhancement"

5/16/13: Paper published in Journal of Heat Transfer (special issue for 75th anniversary of ASME)

4/5/13: An wins the MAE Research Poster Competition at the 2013 Nunan Lecture & Research Day for his experimental work on boiling heat transfer enhancement!

4/4/13: Nikolay wins the 2013 second place prize for the Norma Slepecky Undergraduate Research Prize for his research work on the Tobacco Mosaic Virus!

3/6/13: Paper accepted in Nano Letters: "Wettability of Graphene"

2/15/13: MREL awarded NSF funding on "Collaborative Research: Transport and Separation through Virus-Structured Nanoporous Membranes" (Award # 1264949)

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       Principal Investigator

Assistant Professor
Department of Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering
Syracuse University

Post-doctoral Associate, Mechanical Engineering Department, MIT, 2010-2011
Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering, University of Florida, 2009
M.S. (thesis) in Mechanical Engineering, University of Florida, 2006
B.Tech in Mechanical Engineering, IIT Bombay, 2003

Address: 251 Link Hall, Syracuse, NY 13244
Phone: (315) 443-2107

       Shalabh C. Maroo


           An Zou                            Sumith YD
                     Dhirendra Singh                   Peetak Mitra
        PhD Student                        PhD Student                         PhD Student                         PhD Student

       Ryan Olson                     Geoffrey Vaartstra
             Nikolay Rodionov                     Dan Stack
       MS Student                    Undergraduate Student                   Alumnus                               Alumnus

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Energy & Thermal Management
Critical heat flux (CHF) enhancement by surface modifications has been an extensively researched area in pool boiling heat transfer. We report a new fundamental mechanism of CHF enhancement where nano/micro ridges are fabricated on surfaces to fragment and evaporate the metastable non-evaporating/adsorbed film present at the base of a bubble in the contact line region (figure shown on right). CHF increase of ~125% is obtained with only ~40% increase in surface area. An analytical model is extended to explain the CHF enhancement and to determine the average non-evaporating film thickness, which serves as the critical height for nano/micro structures for pool boiling heat transfer enhancement.

Novel cooling technologies are required which can meet increasing cooling demands and enable major advancements in various energy systems including concentrated photovoltaics, integrated chip cooling, boiling water reactors. At MREL, we are working towards the concept and application of nano-thin film evaporation, which holds promise of significantly higher heat fluxes over present state-of-the-art cooling techniques, via simulations and experiments. The potential of ultra-high heat flux (~ 100 MW/m2) and high absolute negative pressure in nano-thin films has been shown in simulations. Key challenges lie in creating nano-geometries and heat flux supply mechanism in experiments, and modeling evaporation of water in molecular simulations.

The moving contact line is a three-phase phenomenon where the liquid-vapor interface meets the solid surface. The dynamics and thermal transport along the contact line is of particular importance as it is multi-scale in nature and governs the heat transfer in nucleate boiling. We are interested in developing multi-scale phase-change simulation methods, which couple molecular and continuum domains, to gain fundamental insight into the three-phase contact line region.
Water Desalination & Filtrationzeo

Water is an essential resource for human survival, but projections say that by 2025, 1.8 billion people will be living in regions with absolute water scarcity. Water is practically unlimited, but at the cost and energy required for desalination, and thus is directly related to increases in energy demand. MREL is involved in studying the transport of water molecules in sub-nanometer zeolite pores for efficient water desalination. MFI zeolites, which are porous aluminosilicate minerals, have a pore diameter of about 0.56 nm. As the size of a water molecule is roughly 0.28-0.3 nm in diameter, the pore size restricts the flow of water into a molecular chain presenting an extraordinary physical behavior.

Electric double layer (EDL) holds immense importance in nanometer and sub-nanometer pores. EDL consists of surface charge layer and diffuse layer when an ionic liquid comes in contact with a charged surface. Overlapping EDLs can be obtained in nanopores and ion exclusion can be achieved via charge repulsion. Specific ion repulsion can be tailored to achieve desalination and water filtration. We are interested in performing fundamental study of EDLs via molecular simulations. Other topics of interest include utilization of solar energy and enhancing efficiency of conventional desalination systems.
Bio-Mechanical Systemsbms-pic

Nature possesses various extremely efficient mechanisms through the use of biological molecules at nanoscales. One of MREL's research goals is understanding and mimicking these biological processes into efficient mechanical systems via molecular simulations, nano-fabrication and nano-metrology. We are currently involved in investigating transport and separation phenomena through the protein channel of the tobacco mosaic virus (TMV) via molecular analysis and simulations. The TMV is a rigid, hollow, rod-shaped plant virus with a 4-nm diameter central pore defined by 2130 helical coat proteins wrapped around a single strand of RNA. It is an extremely stable bio-molecule, withstanding temperatures of up to 60 degrees C and a pH range of 2 to 11.

"A biological system can be exceedingly small. Many of the cells are very tiny, but they are very active; they manufacture various substances; they walk around; they wiggle; and they do all kinds of marvelous things—all on a very small scale. Also, they store information. Consider the possibility that we too can make a thing very small, which does what we want—that we can manufacture an object that maneuvers at that level!" - Dr. Richard P. Feynman, 1959

"Doing it nature's way has the potential to change the way we make materials, harness energy, store information... Nature would provide the models: solar cells copied from leaves, steely fibers woven spider-style, computers that signal like cells.." - Janine M. Benyus in Biomimicry: Innovation Inspired by Nature.
Journals (18)
  1. Sumith YD & Shalabh C. Maroo, Surface-Heating Algorithm for Water at Nanoscale, The Journal of Physical Chemistry (JPC) Letters, 6, pp 3765-3769, 2015

  2. J. L. Plawsky, A. G. Fedorov, S. V. Garimella, H. B. Ma, S. C. Maroo, L. Chen & Y. Nam, Nano- and Microstructures for Thin-Film Evaporation—A Review, Nanoscale and Microscale Thermophysical Engineering, Vol. 18, Issue 3, p. 251-269 (2014)

  3. Matthew McCarthy, Konstantinos Gerasopoulos, Shalabh C. Maroo & A. John Hart, Materials, Fabrication, and Manufacturing of Micro/Nanostructured Surfaces for Phase-Change Heat Transfer Enhancement, Nanoscale and Microscale Thermophysical Engineering, Vol. 18, Issue 3, p. 288-310 (2014)

  4. Tom Humplik, Rishi Raj, Shalabh C. Maroo, T. Laoui & Evelyn N. Wang, Effect of Hydrophilic Defects on Water Transport in MFI Zeolites, Langmuir, 30(22), p. 6446-6453 (2014)

  5. Tom Humplik, Rishi Raj, Shalabh C. Maroo, T. Laoui & Evelyn N. Wang, Framework water capacity and infiltration pressure of MFI zeolites, Microporous and Mesoporous Materials, 190, p. 84-91 (2014)

  6. An Zou & Shalabh C. Maroo, Critical height of micro/nano structures for pool boiling heat transfer enhancement, Applied Physics Letters, 103, 221602 (Nov. 2013)

  7. Shalabh C. Maroo & J. N. Chung, Fundamental roles of non-evaporating film and ultra-high heat flux associated with nanoscale meniscus evaporation in nucleate boiling, Journal of Heat Transfer, special edition for 75th Anniversary of ASME, 135(6), 061501 (May 2013)

  8. Rishi Raj, Shalabh C. Maroo & Evelyn N. Wang, Wettability of Graphene, Nano Letters, 13 (4), pp 1509–1515 (March 2013)

  9. Rong Xiao, Shalabh C. Maroo & Evelyn N. Wang, Negative Pressures in Nanoporous Membranes for Thin Film Evaporation, Applied Physics Letters, 102, 123103 (2013)

  10. Shalabh C. Maroo & J. N. Chung, A possible role of nanostructured ridges on boiling heat transfer enhancement, Journal of Heat Transfer, 135(4), 041501 (2013)

  11. Shalabh C. Maroo & J. N. Chung, Negative pressure characteristics of an evaporating meniscus at nanoscale, Nanoscale Research Letters, 6:72 (2011)

  12. N. Miljkovic, R. Enright, Shalabh C. Maroo, H.J. Cho, & Evelyn N. Wang, Liquid evaporation on superhydrophobic and superhydrophilic nanostructured surfaces, Journal of Heat Transfer, 133(8), 080903 (2011)

  13. J.N. Chung, Tailian Chen, Shalabh C. Maroo, A review of recent progress on nano/micro scale nucleate boiling fundamentals, Frontiers in Heat and Mass Transfer, 2-023004 (2011)

  14. Shalabh C. Maroo & J. N. Chung, Heat transfer characteristics and pressure variation in a nanoscale evaporating meniscus, International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer, 53 (15-16), 3335-3345 (2010)

  15. Shalabh C. Maroo & J. N. Chung, A novel fluid-wall heat transfer model for molecular dynamics simulations, Journal of Nanoparticle Research, 12 (5), 1913-1924 (2010)

  16. Shalabh C. Maroo & J. N. Chung, Nanoscale liquid-vapor phase-change physics in non-evaporating region at the three-phase contact line, Journal of Applied Physics, 106, 064911 (2009) [selected for October 5, 2009 issue of Virtual Journal of Nanoscale Science and Technology]

  17. Shalabh C. Maroo & J. N. Chung, Molecular dynamic simulation of platinum heater and associated nano-scale liquid argon film evaporation and colloidal adsorption characteristics, Journal of Colloid and Interface Science, 328 (1), 134 (2008)

  18. Shalabh C. Maroo & D. Yogi Goswami, Theoretical analysis of a single-stage and two-stage solar driven flash desalination system based on passive vacuum generation, Desalination, 249 (2), 635-646 (2009)
  1. Nikolay I. Rodionov & Shalabh C. Maroo, Charge Distribution Structure in the Tobacco Mosaic Virus for Water Desalination, ASME 2012 International Mechanical Engineering Congress & Exposition, Houston TX, Nov. 9-15, 2012

  2. Shalabh C. Maroo, Effect of Pulsed Heating in Nano-heater Array on Meniscus Evaporation using Molecular Dynamics Simulation, ASME 2012 Summer Heat Transfer Conference, Puerto Rico, USA, July 8-12, 2012

  3. Rong Xiao, Shalabh C. Maroo & Evelyn N. Wang, Thin Film Evaporation uing Nanoporous Membranes for Enhanced Heat Transfer, ASME 2012 Summer Heat Transfer Conference, Puerto Rico, USA, July 8-12, 2012

  4. Shalabh C. Maroo, Tom Humplik, Tahar Laoui & Evelyn N. Wang, Water Transport in Sub-nanometer MFI Zeolites for Efficient Water Desalination, ASME 2012 3rd Micro/Nanoscale Heat & Mass Transfer International Conference, Atlanta, Georgia, March 3-6, 2012

  5. H. Jeremy Cho, Shalabh C. Maroo & Evelyn N. Wang, Characterization of Lipid Membrane Properties for Tunable Electroporation, accepted for publication in ASME 2012 3rd Micro/Nanoscale Heat & Mass Transfer International Conference, Atlanta, Georgia, March 3-6, 2012

  6. Shalabh C. Maroo, H. Jeremy Cho & Evelyn N. Wang, Wetting characteristics of a phospholipid membrane using molecular dynamics simulation, Proceedings of the ASME International Mechanical Engineering Congress & Exposition, Vancouver BC, Canada, November 12-18, 2010

  7. Shalabh C. Maroo & J. N. Chung, Effect of nanostructured surface on meniscus evaporation at nanoscale, ASME 14th International Heat Transfer Conference (IHTC), Washington D.C., August 8-13, 2010

  8. Shalabh C. Maroo & J. N. Chung, Nano-droplet impact on a homogenous surface using molecular dynamics, Proceedings of ENIC2008, ENIC2008-53036, ASME 3rd Energy Nanotechnology International Conference, Jacksonville, Florida, August 10-14, 2008

  9. Yan Ji, Shalabh C. Maroo & J. N. Chung, Effects of system temperature on the performance of a low-temperature SOFC, 47th AIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting, Orlando, Florida, January 5-8, 2009

Syracuse University

L. C. Smith College of Engineering and Computer Science

Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Syracuse Biomaterials Institute Facilities

Cornell NanoScale Science & Technology Facility (CNF) Lab and Equipment

Cornell Center for Materials Research (CCMR) Facilities

There is plenty of room at the bottom - Dr. Richard P. Feynman

Gromacs - A molecular dynamics package

MREL has a few openings for researchers who are interested in performing simulations and experiments in the areas of energy, thermal management, water desalination and bio-mechanical systems. A sound background in maths and physical sciences is desired, along with strong analytical and creative thinking, and good communication skills. Students interested in pursuing their PhD degrees will be preferred. Interested researchers are encouranged to enter their information through this webpage and/or email a detailed CV to Prof. Shalabh Maroo (scmaroo@syr.edu).

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