Specific heat, thermal conductivity and interfacial conductance are macroscopic thermal properties that should remain fixed for a given material choice. But sometimes the same material has different values of these thermal properties. This is because phonons, which are quantized lattice vibrations responsible for heat conduction, are extremely sensitive to changes in the materials’ physical conditions. As macroscopic quantities only describe the average behavior of these phonons, we do not know what each phonon is doing.

If we understand how each phonon actually behaves in determining these macroscopic properties, can we work backward to pin-point what each phonon is doing? Here, Dr. Ding hopes to show you in theory that although macroscopic thermal properties seem to provide little information, designing macroscopic measurements wisely can lead us to pin-point what the phonons are doing a lot better. His proposed methods not only offer alternatives to current tedious methods to characterize phonons, but also provide an avenue to truly manage heat at its most fundamental level.

Speaker’s Bio

Dr. Ding Ding is currently a scientist at the Institute of Materials Research and Engineering, Singapore. His research focuses on understanding and controlling heat transfer at the nanoscale. He has particularly devoted his research into understanding phonon physics through optical measurements.

Ding received his B.S. degree in 2009 from Brown University in Engineering Physics. He then worked as a research engineer at the Data Storage Institute, Singapore, between 2009 and 2010. Thereafter, he moved to the California Institute of Technology and received a Ph.D. degree in Applied Physics in 2016. In addition, Ding also completed his post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Colorado Boulder in 2017. His graduate research involves optical measurements in quantum optics and nanoscale heat transport. Ding is a recipient of the A*STAR National Science Scholarship (BS-PhD) and recently the AME Young Individual Research Grant.

Outside of professional interests, Ding has been into photography since the age of films and enjoys playing the guitar.