nanoTransport Group at Autonomous University of Barcelona studies the changes in the behavior of transport phenomena when the characteristic scales where they are happening are in the nanoscale. Its objective is to obtain generalizations of the macroscopic laws allowing to explain the experimental observations and based on fundamental principles.
The results of our research are simple equartions that can be introduced in standard finite element software used by engineers working at the nanoscale. Whith these equations, nanodevice designers could predict the behaviour of their designs before the fabrication, improving this way the efficiency of this stage.
Transport phenomena at the nanoscale.
Studying transport phenomena means determining the relations between the different magnitudes that thermodynamically describe a system when some of these magnitudes is in a nonequilibrium situation. For example, in a macroscopical situation, when in two different points of a sample we have two different temperatures, a heat flux appear. The Fourier law determines the relation between the temperature differences, the distance between points and the heat flux
where lambda is a parameret depending only on the material.
In the last decades, it has bees experimentally shown that at the nanoscale, the transport laws that we have been using at the macroscale are no longer valid. In the case of the heat transport this means that for example that the thermal conductivity depends also on the size and the geometry of the sample. Our research group is focused on the study of the origin of this discrepancies.
We have more than twenty five years of expertise in the topic of non-equilibrium thermodynamics. The Extended Irreversible Thermodynamics (EIT) is a theoretical framework developed in our group that allows the study this kind of phenomena from in more consistent thermodynamic point of view.