Recently, Jie Zhao , a Zhiyuan Physics alumni (class of 2015) has published a paper titled "Probing the Melting Transitions in Phase Change Superlatices via Thin Film Nanocalculus" on Nano Letters as the first author. Jie Zhao is conducting researches at the Allen research group at the University of Illinois, while collaborating with the Pop research group, Stanford University, he and the other researches applied a technology called nanocalorimeter to detect the unique phase transition of this superlattice for the first time.
Nanocalorimeter is a technology developed by Professor Allen's team at the University of Illinois, which has advantages such as ultra-high sensitivity and ultrafast scanning rate in detecting phase transitions in thin film materials. Zhao Jie found in his research that compared to bulk materials, the melting temperature of these ultra-thin superlattices was reduced by about 240 ° C, and the corresponding melting heat was also reduced by 8 times. These findings provide a unique thermodynamic interpretation for the efficient energy storage of such phase transition superlattices.
After graduating from Zhiyuan College of Shanghai Jiao Tong University in 2019, Jie went to the University of Illinois to pursue a doctoral degree in Materials Engineering. In addition to scientific research, Jie also pays great attention to the impact and enlightenment of technology on people. With funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF) in the United States, his research group organized a summer science summer camp teaching activity in May this year. Jie, along with Dr. Jonas Kurniawan from Stanford University and doctoral student Yan Lu from Purdue University (who previously studied in the Zhiyuan Engineering Honors Program, IEEE class), went to an indigenous tribe in the United States, They organized renewable energy science popularization activities for local seventh and eighth grade high school students, and lead them to understand the principles of wind power generation through hands-on practice.
Jie Zhao spent four home-like years at Zhiyuan, the strong academic atmosphere and abundant teaching resources of Zhiyuan College have laid a solid foundation for his research journey. Zhiyuan College encourages students to participate in cross campus research internships based on their interests and hobbies. Jie used to rotate between multiple laboratories in the School of Materials Science, School of Mechanical Engineering, and School of Physics, accumulating experimental experience and exploring research interests. While enriching his own abilities, he also met many like-minded partners. During his undergraduate studies, Jie participated in the "Zhiyuan Future Scholar Program" (an undergraduate independent scientific research program designed for "creating innovation") and received guidance from Professor Wang Hong, the School of Materials Science. Professor Wang helped Jie to analyze the direction of future scientific research and firmly established his research goals, led him to enter the world of material genomics science and phase change materials. During his time at the University of Illinois, Jie continued to collaborate with Professor Wang and published has an article on Advanced Material Interface in 2022.