We aim at characterizing the nanoscale dynamics of liquids brought in contact with intense heat sources. This situation is encountered around hot plasmonic colloidal nanoparticles and  inside  heated  nanochannels. At the nanoscale, the thermofluidic response of liquids is governed by several competing factors, thermal resistance, thermoosmosis, the electric double layer. In turn, these new couplings open the way to control nanoscale flows with applications in waste heat recovery or for thermomechanical conversion. 

Plasmonic nanobubbles

Plasmonic nanobubbles are transient bubbles generated by optically heated colloidal nanoparticles. They are currently considered for a broad array of applications, ranging from solar energy conversion, photoacoustic imaging to nanoparticle based cancer therapy. Yet, their generation and dynamics raise new questions regarding the physics of phase transitions at short picosecond times and nanometer length scales. We investigate plasmonic nanobubble dynamics using phase field and atomistic simulations.

(J. Lombard, T. Biben, S. Merabia, Phys. Rev. Lett. 2014; J. Lombard, T. Biben, S. Merabia, Nanoscale 2016)

Nanofluidic thermoelectricity 

Nanofluidic devices could, in principle, be considered to convert waste heat in electricity. The standard picture of thermoelectricity in liquids (Derjaguin 1980's) predicts a rather low thermoelectric response. Using atomistic simulations, we recently showed that the actual thermoelectric response is two orders of magnitude higher than originally predicted. This, we show, opens the door to convert waste heat in electricity using green-like and cheap nanofluidic devices (see L. Fu, L. Joly, S. Merabia, Phys. Rev. Lett. 2019).

Collaborators : T. Biben (ILM), L. Joly (ILM), P. Keblinski (Rennslaer, USA), A. Rajabpour (Tehran, Iran), F. Müller-Plathe (Darmstadt, Germany), Y. Yasutaka (Osaka,Japan)

Students/postdocs : O. Guttierez, R. Rabani

Projects: ANR Nanosurf (2011-2015), DFG Summerprogramme (2016), idex Lyon (2019-2020)

Recent publications :

-A. Alkurdi, J. Lombard, F. Detcheverry and S. Merabia, « Enhanced heat transfer with core shell metal dielectric nanoparticles », Phys. Rev. Appl., 13 (2020), 034036


-L. Fu, L. Joly, and S. Merabia, « Giant Thermoelectric Response of Nanofluidic Systems Driven by Water Excess Enthalpy », Phys Rev Lett, 123 (2019), 10.1103


-J. Lombard, T. Biben and S. Merabia, « Threshold for nanobubble generation around laser heated plasmonic nanoparticles », J. Phys. Chem. C, 121 (28), 15402 (2017)