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Chuan-Hua Chen


Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science

Chuan-Hua Chen's research interests lie in experimental and theoretical investigations of small-scale physicochemical hydrodynamics, where transport and interfacial phenomena closely interact with each other.

By manipulating surface tension actively and passively, e.g. using electric fields and surface structures, we are developing innovative solutions for applications ranging from bioanalytical assays to microelectronics cooling.

Appointments and Affiliations

  • Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science

Contact Information

  • Office Location: 178 Hudson Hall, Dept. Mechanical Engineering, Durham, NC 27708-0300
  • Office Phone: +1 919 660 5343
  • Email Address:
  • Websites:


  • Ph.D. Stanford University, 2004

Research Interests

Experimental and theoretical research coupling physicochemical hydrodynamics with interfacial engineering

Awards, Honors, and Distinctions

  • Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Program. National Science Foundation. 2009

Courses Taught

  • ME 631: Intermediate Fluid Mechanics
  • ME 592: Research Independent Study in Mechanical Engineering or Material Science
  • ME 431L: Heat and Mass Transfer
  • ME 336L: Fluid Mechanics

In the News

Representative Publications

  • Guo, HA; Maheshwari, S; Patel, MS; Bhatt, EC; Chen, CH, Droplet actuation on superhydrophobic substrates via electric field gradients, Applied Physics Letters, vol 114 no. 11 (2019) [10.1063/1.5080241] [abs].
  • Guo, HA; Wiedenheft, KF; Chen, CH, Hotspot Size Effect on Conductive Heat Spreading, IEEE Transactions on Components, Packaging and Manufacturing Technology, vol 7 no. 9 (2017), pp. 1459-1464 [10.1109/TCPMT.2017.2704419] [abs].
  • Liu, F; Chavez, RL; Patek, SN; Pringle, A; Feng, JJ; Chen, C-H, Asymmetric drop coalescence launches fungal ballistospores with directionality., Journal of the Royal Society, Interface, vol 14 no. 132 (2017) [10.1098/rsif.2017.0083] [abs].
  • Wiedenheft, KF; Guo, HA; Qu, X; Boreyko, JB; Liu, F; Zhang, K; Eid, F; Choudhury, A; Li, Z; Chen, CH, Hotspot cooling with jumping-drop vapor chambers, Applied Physics Letters, vol 110 no. 14 (2017) [10.1063/1.4979477] [abs].
  • Chavez, RL; Liu, F; Feng, JJ; Chen, C-H, Capillary-inertial colloidal catapults upon drop coalescence., Applied physics letters, vol 109 no. 1 (2016) [10.1063/1.4955085] [abs].

Affiliate Topics in Materials Research