Hydrogels are formed through the cross-linking of hydrophilic polymer chains within large amounts of water. The water-rich nature resembles extracellular matrices and makes them a natural choice for tissue engineering and biomedicine. In recent years, ascribed to the fast growing of wearable and implantable devices, hydrogel gradually emerges as an important material platform for designing soft electronics, artificial skin, actuators and on-body electricity generators. Also, due to the unique water state inside, hydrogels are taking a growing role in energy applications. In this talk, I will introduce the recent works from our group to engineer the heat and mass transfer in hydrogels for ionic conductor, ionic modulation, vapor pressure control and optical regulation. The applications include sensor design, microfluidic chip, battery, heat dissipation and energy saving buildings.
Dr. Kang Liu received his Bachelor’s degree (2009) and his Ph.D. (2014) in Thermal Engineering from Wuhan University, China. After obtaining his Ph.D., he worked in Wuhan National Laboratory for Optoelectronics (WNLO), Huazhong University of Science and Technology (HUST) as a research scientist. During 2017–2018, he was a visiting professor in Stanford University. He joined in the School of Power and Mechanical Engineering, Wuhan University as a professor from the end of 2018. His main research interest is advanced thermo-fluidics for energy applications. He has published a series of peer-reviewed articles in well-recognized journals, including Nature Communications, Energy & Environment Science, Advanced Materials, Nano Letters, and ACS Nano, with a total citation of 3000+ and an H-index of 26.