ME50300 - Micro- and Nano-scale Energy Transfer Processes

Fall 2017

Days/Time: TBD / TBD
Credit Hours: 3

Learning Objective:
Students in this course will: (1) Gain an understanding of the fundamental elements of solid-state physics and quantum mechanics. (2) Develop skills to derive continuum physical properties from sub-continuum principles. (3) Apply statistical and physical principles to describe energy transport in modern small-scale materials and devices

This course provides a detailed treatment of the transport of energy in natural and fabricated nanostructures. The physical nature of energy transport by four carriers???electrons, phonons, fluid particles, and photons???will be explored from first principles, as well as interactions among these carriers. Bulk material properties, such as thermal and electrical conductivity and thermal emissivity, will be derived from statistical particle transport theories, and the effects of spatial confinement on these properties will be explored. Following the treatment of fundamental physical principles, the course will focus on engineering applications, including heat generation and transport in semiconductor devices, quantum wells, wires, and dots, and alternative energy conversion. The applications are interdisciplinary in nature and will not presume prior expertise

Topics Covered:
Introduction and preliminaries; Lattice structure, phonons, electrons (nanoHUB-U); Carrier Statistics (nanoHUB-U); Basic Thermal Properties (nanoHUB-U); Landauer Transport Formalism (nanoHUB-U); Carrier Scattering and Transmission (nanoHUB-U); Thermal conductivity, Boltzmann transport equation (BTE); Thermal interfacial resistance; Electron bands; Electron BTE and Scattering; Thermoelectrics and Thermionics; Gas molecule specific heat, thermal speed and thermal conductivity; Introduction to photons, Models of Dielectric function; EM waves, quantum theory of light, blackbody radiation; Rate Equations Einstein A, B constants, electron excitation and decay.

An undergraduate degree in engineering or science. Some prior exposure to thermodynamics

Applied/Theory: 25/75

Web Address:

Web Content:
A link to current course website and grades.

Weekly or bi-weekly (accepted via the internet; some homework completed entirely online through nanoHUB-U).

Can be job-related and involves the preparation of a final project report in journal paper format (4000 to 8000 words).

Two midterms; no final exam, but a final project is required.

*Tentative-check the Office of the Registrar Textbooks for the official list*
Thermal Energy at the Nanoscale. World Scientific, 2013, by T.S. Fisher (publication is expected in Summer 2013)

Computer Requirements:
Must be able to access nanoHUB-U and use tools therein. Access to mathematical software such as Matlab or Mathematica is helpful but not essential.

ProEd Minimum Requirements: view

Tuition & Fees: view


Timothy S. Fisher
Purdue University
Birck Center
1205 West State Street
West Lafayette, IN 47907-2057
Instructor HomePage

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