Title page for ETD etd-05202009-132245

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Shukla, Nitin
Author's Email Address nshukla@vt.edu
URN etd-05202009-132245
Title Heat Transport across Dissimilar Materials
Degree PhD
Department Mechanical Engineering
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Huxtable, Scott T. Committee Chair
Diller, Thomas E. Committee Member
Khodaparast, Giti A. Committee Member
Meehan, Kathleen Committee Member
Paul, Mark R. Committee Member
  • Nanoscale heat transport
  • thermal conductivity
  • interface thermal conductance
  • nanocomposite
  • metallic glass
  • time-domain thermoreflectance
Date of Defense 2009-05-13
Availability unrestricted
All interfaces offer resistance to heat transport. As the size of a device or structure approaches nanometer lengthscales, the contribution of the interface thermal resistance often becomes comparable to the intrinsic thermal resistance offered by the device or structure itself. In many microelectronic devices, heat has to transfer across a metal-nonmetal interface, and a better understanding about the origins of this interface thermal conductance (inverse of the interface thermal resistance) is critical in improving the performance of these devices. In this dissertation, heat transport across different metal-nonmetal interfaces are investigated with the primary goal of gaining qualitative and quantitative insight into the heat transport mechanisms across such interfaces. A time-domain thermoreflectance (TDTR) system is used to measure the thermal properties at the nanoscale. TDTR is an optical pump-probe technique, and it is capable of measuring thermal conductivity, k, and interface thermal conductance, G, simultaneously.

The first study examines k and G for amorphous and crystalline Zr47Cu31Al13Ni9 metallic alloys that are in contact with poly-crystalline Y2O3. The motivation behind this study is to determine the relative importance of energy coupling mechanisms such as electron-phonon or phonon-phonon coupling across the interface by changing the material structure (from amorphous to crystalline), but not the composition. From the TDTR measurements k=4.5 W m-1 K-1 for the amorphous metallic glass of Zr47Cu31Al13Ni9, and k=5.0 W m-1 K-1 for the crystalline Zr47Cu31Al13Ni9. TDTR also gives G=23 MW m-2 K-1 for the metallic glass/Y2O3 interface and G=26 MW m-2 K-1 for the interface between the crystalline Zr47Cu31Al13Ni9 and Y2O3. The thermal conductivity of the poly-crystalline Y2O3 layer is found to be k=5.0 W m-1 K-1. Despite the small difference between k and G for the two alloys, the results are repeatable and they indicate that the structure of the alloy plays a role in the electron-phonon coupling and interface conductance.

The second experimental study examines the effect of nickel nanoparticle size on the thermal transport in multilayer nanocomposites. These nanocomposites consist of five alternating layers of nickel nanoparticles and yttria stabilized zirconia (YSZ) spacer layers that are grown with pulsed laser deposition. Using TDTR, thermal conductivities of k=1.8, 2.4, 2.3, and 3.0 W m-1 K-1 are found for nanocomposites with nickel nanoparticle diameters of 7, 21, 24, and 38 nm, respectively, and k=2.5 W m-1 K-1 for a single 80 nm thick layer of YSZ. The results indicate that the overall thermal conductivity of these nanocomposites is strongly influenced by the Ni nanoparticle size and the interface thermal conductance between the Ni particles and the YSZ matrix. An effective medium theory is used to estimate the lower limits for the interface thermal conductance between the nickel nanoparticles and the YSZ matrix (G>170 MW m-2 K-1), and the nickel nanoparticle thermal conductivity.

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