Purdue University Graduate School
MSME Thesis - J Minyard - Heat Conduction Via Polaritons.pdf (1.47 MB)

Heat Conduction via Polaritons

Download (1.47 MB)
posted on 2024-04-17, 13:13 authored by Jacob Daniel MinyardJacob Daniel Minyard

This Thesis is divided into four parts. Its main themes are the thermal transport characteristics of Surface Phonon-Polaritons (SPhPs) and Surface Plasmon Polaritons (SPPs).

Chapter 1 introduces the main problem at issue in this Thesis: the decline in thermal conductivity with decreasing thicknesses in electronic devices and the feasibility of optimizing polar semiconductors and metals to produce polaritons that augment heat dissipation at these length scales.

Chapter 2 discusses Surface Phonon-Polariton (SPhP)-mediated thermal conductivity, or radiation conduction, in polar semiconductors. It considers the propagation of SPhPs in the case of two semi-infinite planes consisting of air and a polar semiconductor with a dielectric function described by its transverse- and longitudinal-optical (TOLO) phonon energies. It characterizes twenty different polar semiconductors in terms of radiation conduction via SPhPs and proposes a Figure of Merit (FoM) that describes the effectiveness of polariton conductance using easily-measured TO and LO phonon energies and linewidths.

Chapter 3 considers the propagation of SPPs in the case of two semi-infinite planes consisting of air and a metal with a dielectric function described by the Lorentz-Drude (LD) model. This chapter characterizes the effectiveness of eleven different metals as radiation conductors via SPPs and relates polariton conductance to electrical resistivity. It proposes a FoM analogous to the Wiedemann-Franz law that relates the effectiveness of polariton conductance and thermal conductance to the material’s electron scattering or linewidth.

Chapter 4 chapter compares the relative effectiveness of SPhP- and SPP-mediated radiation conduction. It describes why SPPs demonstrate far higher polariton conductance values than SPhPs by highlighting the underlying mechanisms at work in both—that is, available modes of energy transmission and their respective mean free path lengths.


Degree Type

  • Master of Science


  • Mechanical Engineering

Campus location

  • West Lafayette

Advisor/Supervisor/Committee Chair

Thomas Beechem

Additional Committee Member 2

Xianfan Xu

Additional Committee Member 3

Xiulin Ruan

Usage metrics



    Ref. manager