B.S. ​Sharif University, 2002M.S. ​Sharif University, 2004Ph.D. ​University of California, Santa Cruz, 2010Post-Doc Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, 2010-2012

"E-Snail is working to provide efficient and reliable solid state devices to convert waste heat and solar energy to usable electrical energy and to manage heat at micron-scales."

Mona Zebarjadi, Associate Professor

Mona Zebarjadi is a joint professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Materials Science and Engineering Departments at the University of Virginia, where she is leading the Energy Science and Nanotechnology Lab (ESNL). Prior to her current appointment, she was a professor of the Mechanical Engineering Department at Rutgers University. Her research interests are in electron and phonon transport modeling; materials and device design, fabrication, and characterization; with emphasis on energy conversion systems such as thermoelectric, thermionic, and thermomagnetic power generators, and heat management in high power electronics and optoelectronic devices. She received her Bachelor's and master's degree in physics from Sharif University and her Ph.D. in EE from UCSC in 2009, after which she spent 3 years at MIT as a postdoctoral fellow working jointly with electrical and mechanical engineering departments. She is the recipient of the 2017 NSF Career award, 2014 AFOSR career award, 2015 A.W. Tyson assistant professorship award, MRS graduate student gold medal, and SWE electronics for imaging scholarship.


  • A. Walter Tyson Assistant Professorship Award
  • Graduate Student Gold Medal winner Materials Research Society
  • Society of Women Engineers, the Electronics for Imaging Scholarship

Research Interests

  • Microscale Heat Transfer
  • Nanoelectronics and 2-D Materials
  • Computational Materials Science
  • Solar Power and waste heat recovery

In the News

  • Going with the flow of heat

    Most cooling devices operate against the natural flow of heat from hot to cold, keeping, for example, something colder than its surrounding. Yet many applications require an already favourable heat transfer from a hot device, such as a computer processor, to be accelerated. 

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  • Focus: Two Types of Cooling Require Different Designs

    A team of researchers from the Ohio State University and the University of Virginia has found a way to use metals with a high thermoelectric power factor to create efficient all-solid-state active coolers. In their paper published in the journal Physical Review Applied, the group describes their new approach to cooling electronic devices and how well it worked.

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  • Multifunctional Materials Integration: Cooler Chips Mean Smaller Devices

    In 1965, Intel co-founder Gordon Moore noticed that the number of transistors per square inch of integrated circuit doubled roughly every two years. Moore’s Law posits that this trend would continue into the foreseeable future — and it has. Certainly the ability to hold a smartphone in the palm of your hand — in the process availing yourself of the computing power of a circa-1990 supercomputer — is a testament to Moore’s prescience.

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  • ‘Invisible’ particles could enhance thermoelectric devices

    Thermoelectric devices — which can either generate an electric current from a difference in temperature or use electricity to produce heating or cooling without moving parts — have been explored in the laboratory since the 19th century. In recent years, their efficiency has improved enough to enable limited commercial use, such as in cooling systems built into the seats of automobiles. But more widespread use, such as to harness waste heat from power plants and engines, calls for better materials.

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  • Nanoparticles in Hiding

    The design of artificial metamaterials that allow “cloaking”—apparent invisibility to acoustic and electromagnetic waves—is more than a party trick. Many applications suggest themselves if one could create cloaking at useful frequencies or in technologically relevant systems. Writing in Physical Review Letters, Bolin Liao and colleagues at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, propose the use of cloaking in semiconductor devices to optimize electron mobility in nanostructured materials.

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Selected Publications

  • Perspectives on thermoelectrics: from fundamentals to device applications ABS M Zebarjadi, K Esfarjani, MS Dresselhaus, ZF Ren, G Chen; Energy & Environmental Science 5 (1), 5147-5162 ; 500 citations
  • Power factor enhancement by modulation doping in bulk nanocomposites ABS M Zebarjadi, G Joshi, G Zhu, B Yu, A Minnich, Y Lan, X Wang, et al.; Nano letters 11 (6), 2225-2230; 206 citations
  • Enhancement of thermoelectric properties by modulation-doping in silicon germanium alloy nanocomposites ABS B Yu, M Zebarjadi, H Wang, K Lukas, H Wang, D Wang, C Opeil, ...; Nano letters 12 (4), 2077-2082; 177 citations
  • Effect of nanoparticle scattering on thermoelectric power factor ABS M Zebarjadi, K Esfarjani, A Shakouri, JH Bahk, Z Bian, G Zeng, J Bowers, ...; Applied Physics Letters 94 (20), 202105; 101 citations
  • High thermoelectricpower factor in graphene/hBN devices ABS J Duan, X Wang, X Lai, G Li, K Watanabe, T Taniguchi, M Zebarjadi, E. Andrei

Courses Taught

  • Solid State Devices for Renewable Energy Applications
  • Electrons and Phonons
  • Introduction to Heat Transfer
  • Alternative Energy Systems
  • Electromagnetic Fields

Featured Grants & Projects

  • NSF Career Grant: Nonlinear Solid-State Thermal to Electrical Power Generators

    Design of solid-state thermoelectric , thermionic and thermomagnetic devices

  • AirForce Career Grant: Meta Conductors with invisible dopants

    Design of 2D devices with high mobility and high thermoelectric power factor