Cui Profile
Assistant Professor
Mechanical Engineering

Office: ECOT 232
Lab: ECME 1B66F

Research Interests
Atomic, Molecular, and Quantum Energy Transport and Conversion, Ultrahigh Precision Sensing, Scanning Probe Microscopy, Thermal Radiation, and Nano-Optics

Dr. Cui's research group focuses on the development of nanostructure- and nanoengineering-based tools and techniques capable of resolving energy transfer, conversion, and dissipation processes to the scale of single atoms and single molecules. These techniques are leveraged to provide fundamental understandings of properties and performance of nanoscale thermal, electrical, and optical devices. His research has covered the topics including picowatt-resolution thermal sensors, quantum transport at the single-atom and single-molecule scale, molecular thermoelectrics, near-field thermal radiation, and nano-optics. 

Societal Impact
By inventing thermal microscopes and sensors vapable of resolving atomic and molecular details of energy flow and conversion, Dr. Cui's research helps to address the challenges ranging from the thermal management of high power electronics, cheap and clean energy with high efficiency, to conductive, yet lightweight thermal materials for aerospace and wearable applications. 

Select Publications

  • L. Cui, Y. Zhu, M. Abbasi, A. Ahmadivand, B. Gerislioglu, P. Nordlander, D. Natelson, "Electrically driven hot-carrier generation and above-threshold light emission in plasmonic tunnel junctions", Nano Letters (2020).
  • L. Cui, S. Hur, Z. A. Akbar, J. C. Klöckner, W. Jeong, F. Pauly, S.-Y. Jang, P. Reddy, E. Meyhofer, “Thermal conductance of single-molecule junctions”, Nature  572, 628–633 (2019). 
  • L. Cui, R. Miao, K. Wang, D. Thompson, L. A. Zotti, J. C. Cuevas, E. Meyhofer, P. Reddy, “Peltier cooling in molecular junctions”, Nature Nanotechnology 13, 122-127 (2018). (Cover paper)
  • L. Cui, W. Jeong, S. Hur, M. Matt, J. C. Klöckner, F. Pauly, P. Nielaba, J. C. Cuevas, E. Meyhofer, P. Reddy, “Quantized thermal transport in single atom junctions”, Science, 355, 1192 (2017).
  • L. Cui, W. Jeong, V. Fernández-Hurtado, J. Feist, F. J. García-Vidal, J. C. Cuevas, E. Meyhofer, P. Reddy, “Study of radiative heat transfer at Ångström and nanometer-scale gaps”, Nature Communications, 8, 14479 (2017).