Deng Energy and Nanotechnology Group

for energy conversion and nanomaterial synthesis

Research Interests

The overall goal of our research program is to combine fundamental studies of combustion with novel materials synthesis technology to meet energy and environmental challenges. This subject is interdisciplinary in nature, comprising thermodynamics, fluid dynamics, chemical kinetics, and materials sciences, and our pursuit of both fundamental understanding and application-oriented engineering aims to advance the frontier of the research.

Fundamental understanding of combustion and emissions and data-driven modeling of reacting flows
Our research aims to advance the understanding of the coupling effects between chemistry and transport in flame dynamics and soot emissions at engine relevant conditions using both physics-oriented and artificial intelligence-aided approaches.

  • Multiphase chemically reacting flows: experimentation and modeling
  • Fuel chemistry: hydrocarbon fuels and biofuels
  • Flame dynamics: ignition, extinction, and stability
  • Emissions: soot and NOx evolution in flames
  • Waste heat recovery
  • AI-aided modeling: uncertainty quantification, optimization, and reduced-order modeling

Development of carbon-neutral energetic materials for high performance and tunability
Our research aims to develop energetic materials (EM) with interfacial engineering and advance the mechanistic understanding of their ignition and combustion behaviors.

  • Interfacial engineering
  • Active control of the ignition and combustion behaviors of EM

Flame synthesis of nanomaterials for energy and environment applications
Our research focuses on investigating the nucleation and growth mechanisms that govern the morphology and properties of the flame-synthesized nanomaterials and developing technologies that can control the flame synthesis process to fabricate desired transitional metal oxides nanomaterials at the industrial scale.

  • Flame synthesis methods for nanomaterials: development and optimization
  • Multi-scale modeling of the synthesis process
  • Applications in energy-water nexus: energy conversion and storage, wastewater treatment
  • Device design: (photo)electrochemical, catalytic, biosensing


Research Interests