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Modeling Nanoscale Thermal Transport via the Boltzmann Transport Equation

[+] Author Affiliations
Cristina H. Amon, Sreekant V. J. Narumanchi

Carnegie Mellon University

Jayathi Y. Murthy

Purdue University

Paper No. IMECE2004-62508, pp. 93-103; 11 pages
  • ASME 2004 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition
  • Electronic and Photonic Packaging, Electrical Systems Design and Photonics, and Nanotechnology
  • Anaheim, California, USA, November 13 – 19, 2004
  • Conference Sponsors: Electronic and Photonic Packaging Division
  • ISBN: 0-7918-4707-1 | eISBN: 0-7918-4178-2, 0-7918-4179-0, 0-7918-4180-4
  • Copyright © 2004 by ASME


In modern microelectronics, where extreme miniaturization has led to feature sizes in the sub-micron and nanoscale range, Fourier diffusion has been found to be inadequate for the prediction of heat conduction. Over the past decade, the phonon Boltzmann transport equation (BTE) in the relaxation time approximation has been employed to make thermal predictions in dielectrics and semiconductors at micron and nanoscales. This paper presents a review of the BTE-based solution methods widely employed in the literature. Particular attention is given to the problem of self-heating (hotspot) in sub-micron transistors. First, the solution approaches based on the gray formulation of the BTE are presented. In this class of solution methods, phonons are characterized by one single group velocity and relaxation time. Phonon dispersion is not accounted for in any detail. This is the most widely employed approach in the literature. The semi-gray BTE approach, moments of the Boltzmann equation, the lattice Boltzmann approach, and the ballistic-diffusive approximation are presented. Models which incorporate greater details of phonon dispersion are also discussed. This includes a full phonon dispersion model developed recently by the authors. This full phonon dispersion model satisfies energy conservation, incorporates the different phonon modes, and well as the interactions between the different modes, and accounts for the frequency dependence for both the phonon group velocity and relaxation times. Results which illustrate the differences between some of these models reveal the importance of developing models that incorporate substantial details of phonon physics.

Copyright © 2004 by ASME



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