Course Descriptions
MECH_ENG 495: Nanoscale Thermal Transport

Quarter Offered

Spring : TTh 3:30-4:50pm ; O. Balogun


Thermal energy storage and transport at the nanoscale occurs through the interaction of electrons, phonons, and photons. The objective of this course to address five fundamental questions namely, (1) how is thermal energy distributed among electrons and phonons? (2) how fast do the carriers move through a material? (3) how much thermal energy do each carrier hold? (4) how do the carriers scatter as they move through a material?, and (5) how do the carriers interact with material boundaries and interfaces? The answers to these questions will provide a basis for understanding the conduction of thermal energy in solid-state nanomaterials, and the design and control of thermal processes in heat-transfer, thermoelectric, thermionic, thermophotovoltaic devices and solar cells. In the classroom, I will introduce the Landauer transport formalism and use it to elucidate the fundamental limits of heat conduction between two contacts/reservoirs by electrons and phonons, and to explain the dependence of thermal conductance on energy, frequency, wavelength, and material size. Homework problem sets will be assigned to facilitate deep learning of the course material and journal article reviews will be used to highlight new thermophysical insights on heat conduction in 1D and 2D nanomaterials including carbon nanotubes, nanowires, graphene, molecular junctions, etc.


ME 377 (Heat transfer) and ME 222 (Thermodynamics).