NANS7006 NANO2/PH5: Nanoscale Energy Transport: Beyond Planck and Fourier (JSS30) (2 cr)

Study level:
Advanced studies
Grading scale:
Pass - fail
Responsible organisation:
Faculty of Mathematics and Science
Curriculum periods:
2020-2021, 2021-2022


Heat transfer is ubiquitous in everyday life, and mastering thermal transport phenomena is key for meeting the energy challenges of the XXIst century. As a consequence, apprehending the very fundamental nature of energy transfer is required. At the macroscopic scale, heat conduction and thermal radiation are well understood. However, novel playground has appeared at small scales with opportunities raised by nanotechnology, as the characteristic sizes associated to the energy carriers, i.e. their mean free path and wavelength, are now larger than many actual devices and nanosystems. As a consequence, breaking predictions of Fourier’s and Planck’s laws is now possible under certain circumstances such as ballistic transport or near-field tunneling. The lectures will address the basics of physics of energy transport phenomena, both at the particle and wave levels, with tools like the Boltzmann transport equation and the Fluctutation-Dissipation Theorem. Emphasis will be laid on applications such as thermal management in nanoelectronics, energy harvesting devices, thermal sensors, where temperature drives performance.

Learning outcomes

Students will learn the basics of energy transport and ways to affect the energy carriers in order to control the material/device heat dissipation properties. Analysis of the heat-to-electricity conversion performances and their dependence on temperature for various types of systems will be reviewed. A practical session devoted to the simulation of the reduction of apparent thermal conductivity will be organized.

Description of prerequisites

Bachelor in a science field (preferably physics, nanotechnology, engineering). Solid-state matter, electromagnetism, statistical physics are amongst the theoretical background of the lectures.

Completion methods

Method 1

Select all marked parts
Parts of the completion methods

Participation in teaching (2 cr)

Participation in teaching
Grading scale:
Pass - fail
Study methods:

Lectures, homework, practical session, exam