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  • Ph.D., Purdue University, 2008
  • M.S., Vanderbilt University, 2004
  • B.E., Vanderbilt University, 2002


Dr. Cola brings science to energy and thermal management solutions. After spending 6 years at Vanderbilt University as an engaged student and a starting fullback on the football team, he conducted research on thermal applications of carbon nanotubes at Purdue University. He interned as a Test Research and Development Engineer at Intel Corporation in 2007. He had a brief stay as a visiting scholar at the University of Texas at Dallas before joining the faculty at Georgia Tech in April 2009 as an Assistant Professor. Read more on Dr. Cola’s background here Dr. Cola was promoted to Professor in 2019.


Dr. Cola is currently focused on understanding and designing thermal transport and energy conversion in nanostructures and devices – particularly those based on carbon nanotubes or polymers.  His group develops tools to characterize thermal transport across several orders of scale for this purpose. His research interests also include scalable fabrication of organic and organic-inorganic hybrid nanostructures for novel technological use. These technologies include thermal interface materials, thermo-electrochemical cells, optical rectenna, carbon nanotube metal composites, and materials that can be tuned to regulate the flow of heat.

Dr. Cola's research involves theoretical and experimental components, and he seeks to solve problems with high importance to applications in clean energy (e.g., direct conversion) and the efficient utilization of energy (e.g., more efficient thermal management), and in major industrial segments such as consumer electronics, enterprise services (e.g., the cloud supporting infrastructure), transportation, and lighting.

Current research directions include: high efficiency optical rectenna, extraordinary thermal transport by polaritons, thermally conductive polymers, thermo-electrochemical cells, and carbon nanotube metal composites. 

Students who work with Dr. Cola will build expertise that is firmly rooted in the physics of basic energy carriers, while integrating fundamentals from nearly all of the traditional disciplines of science and engineering to solve important problems. Many of our solutions are enabled by the unique and exciting science at the nanoscale. Students will have opportunities to participate in hands-on work (e.g., building new experiments or tools) and theoretical modeling; and learn to operate several tools used to synthesize and characterize nanomaterials. There are also opportunities to publish in journals, present at international conferences, patent technologies, and start new companies.

Caption: Carbon nanotube (CNT) arrays utilized for enhanced electronics cooling. (a) Highly compliant CNT arrays compressed in the interface between a representative computer chip and a heat sink. Such structures improve device performance and reliability by mitigating thermal stresses and enhancing heat removal.
(b) Thermal resistances of a Velcro™-like interface with CNT arrays directly synthesized on both sides. Such interfaces produce lower resistances than bonded soldered joints.
For more details see Cola et al., J. Appl. Phys. 101, 054313.


  • Atlanta Business Chronicle’s 40 under 40, 2015

  • ASME Bergles-Rohsenow Young Investigator Award in Heat Transfer, 2015

  • National Academy of Sciences US Kavli Frontiers of Science Fellow, 2014

  • National Academy of Engineering U.S. Frontiers of Engineering Education Symposium, 2014

  • Army Research Office (ARO) Young Investigator Program (YIP) Award, 2013

  • National Academy of Engineering U.S. Frontiers of Engineering Symposium, 2013

  • Georgia Tech CETL Educational Partnership Award (w/Tucker High School, GA), 2013

  • AAAS Early Career Award for Public Engagement with Science, 2013

  • Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE), 2012

  • NSF CAREER Award, 2011

  • ASME IPACK2011 Thermal Management Outstanding Paper Award, 2011

  • DARPA Young Investigator Award, 2009

  • Intel Foundation Fellow, 2006-2008

  • Purdue University
    - College of Engineering Outstanding Dissertation Award, 2007
    - Doctoral Fellow, 2006-2008
  • NASA Institute for Nanoelectronics and Computing (INaC) Fellow, 2005-2006
  • Vanderbilt University
    - Football Program Dedication Award, 2002
    - School of Engineering Stein Stone Memorial Award, 2002


Baratunde A. Cola and Timothy S. Fisher. Electrothermal Interface Material Enhancer. U.S. Patent 8,220,530. July 17, 2012. [pdf]

T.S. Fisher, S.L. Hodson, B.A. Cola, T. Bhuvana, and G. Kulkarni. Palladium Thiolate Bonding of Carbon Nanotubes. U.S. Patent 8,541,058, issued September 24, 2013. [pdf]

B.A. Cola and T.S. Fisher. Methods for Attaching Carbon Nanotubes to a Carbon Substrate. U.S. Patent 8,919,428,  issued December 30, 2014. [pdf]

Representative Publications

A. SharmaV. SinghT.L. Bougher, and B.A. Cola. A Carbon Nanotube Optical Rectenna. Nature Nanotechnology, online. [link]

M.K. SmithV. Singh, K. Kalaitizdou, and B.A. Cola. Poly(3-hexylthiophene) Nanotube Array Surfaces with Tunable Wetting and Contact Thermal Energy Transport. ACS Nano, 9(2):1080-1088, 2015. [pdf]

P.F. SalazarS.T. StephensA.H. Kazim, J.M. Pringle, and B.A. Cola. Enhanced Thermo-electrochemical Power using Carbon Nanotube Additives in Ionic Liquid Redox Electrolytes. Journal of Materials Chemistry A, 2(48):20676-20682, 2014. [pdf]

V. SinghT.L. Bougher, A. Weathers, Y. Cai, K. Bi, M.T. Pettes, S.A. McMenamin, W. Lv, D.P. Resler, T.R. Gattuso, D.H. Altman, K.H. Sandhage, L. Shi, A. Henry, and B.A. Cola. High Thermal Conductivity of Chain-Oriented Amorphous Polythiophene. Nature Nanotechnology, 9:384-390, 2014. [link]

J.H. Taphouse, O.L. Smith, S.R. Marder, and B.A. Cola. A Pyrenylpropyl Phosphonic Acid Surface Modifier for Mitigating the Thermal Resistance of Carbon Nanotube Contacts. Advanced Functional Materials, 24:465-471, 2014. [pdf]