Birck Nanotechnology Center

Timothy D. Sands


Acting President, Purdue University

Basil S. Turner Professor of Materials Engineering and Electrical & Computer Engineering


Contact Information:

Phone: +1 765 49-66105



B.S., Engineering Physics/UC Berkeley/1980; M.S., Materials Science/UC Berkeley/1981; Ph.D., Materials Science/UC Berkeley/1984


Research Interests:

Energy conversion materials and devices; nanostructured materials and nanofabrication; GaN heterostructures and light-emitting devices; solid-state lighting; nanostructured thermoelectric materials; solid-state power generators and cooling devices; chemical and physical vapor deposition; electrochemical synthsis of nanostructured materials; pulsed laser deposition; heterogeneous integration; contacts


Research Impact Statement:

Our research group specializes in nanostructured materials for energy conversion devices. Introducing surfaces and interfaces at length scales comparable to or smaller than characteristic wavelengths and scattering lengths of phonons, electrons and photons enables the design and fabrication of artificially-structured materials with properties and performance that expand the envelope defined by conventional bulk and thin-film materials. The potential impact of our research includes higher efficiency and lower cost LEDs for solid-state lighting; efficient solid-state generators that convert heat from any fuel, including biomass, to electric power; and solid-state cooling devices designed to replace compressor-based refrigeration for applications ranging from electronics to air conditioning in vehicles.


Research Images:



Heterogeneous Integration Research Group Web Site
Purdue University Engineering Faculty Page


Current Projects:

  • Co-PI (PI: Tim Fisher), “Thermal and electrical characterization of carbon nanotube vias,” CTRC, $100,000, 1/1/08-12/31/09.
  • Co-PI (PI: Tim Fisher), “US-India Workshop: Frontiers in Scalable Nanostructured Interface Materials,” NSF-OISE, $58,901, 6/15/08-6/14/10.
  • PI for Purdue Subaward (with Co-PI A. Ramdas), “Nanostructured Metal/Semiconductor Materials for Thermoelectric Generators,” DARPA, Lead Institution: UC Santa Cruz, Lead PI: A. Shakouri. $430,000 for Purdue, 8/25/08-3/31/10.
  • PI (Co-PI: Tim Fisher), “Thermoelectric power generation from waste heat in electronic systems,” CTRC, $80,000, 1/1/09-12/31/10.
  • PI, “Copper-copper bonding for laminated thermoelectric elements,” ONR, $162,000, 1/1/09-12/31/09.
  • PI, “Composition modulated nanowire arrays for thermoelectric power generation,” ONR, $381,442, 5/1/09-4/30/12.


Recent publications


nanoHUB Contributions

Research Links


Research Areas: