Innovations at interfaces for water-energy nexus
Prof. Wang Zuankai, City University of Hong Kong, China
August 29, 2020

Water is the origin of life and energy. In spite of its ubiquity and seemingly simplicity, the water is probably the least understood matter in the world. The phase transition, transport, and manipulation of water, normally spanning different time and length scales, constitute the basic paradigm of numerous biological systems and industrial processes such as thermal management´╝î energy, agriculture, and healthcare. Over the past decade, the advances in manufacturing and visualization provide new dimensions in our fundamental and controlling of interfacial and transport phenomena of water, especially on textured surfaces and under complicated working environments involving varying temperatures.

The main aim of this talk is to discuss recent innovations at the interfaces to address one of the most important challenges facing us today, i.e., water-energy nexus. In particular, I will highlight how the rational design and control of topological structures enables us to fundamentally change the triple-phase interaction and achieve the preferred functionalities. Examples include how to efficiently collect water from air, how to use one droplet to cool down hot surfaces by several hundreds of degrees, and how to use one droplet to light up 100 LEDs.