Lecture 9: Introduction to Phonon Transport

By Mark Lundstrom

Electrical and Computer Engineering, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN

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Most of the heat flow in semiconductors is carried by phonons (i.e. quantized lattice vibrations). In the presence of a small temperature gradient, phonon transport is also a problem in near-equilibrium transport, and the techniques developed for electron transport can be readily applied to phonons. This lecture is an introduction to phonon transport. Key similarities and differences between electron and phonon transport are discussed.


  • Introduction
  • Electrons and Phonons
  • General model for heat conduction
  • Thermal conductivity
  • Debye model
  • Scattering
  • Discussion
  • Summary

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Electronics from the Bottom Up” is an educational initiative designed to bring a new perspective to the field of nano device engineering. It is co-sponsored by the Intel Foundation and the Network for Computational Nanotechnology.

Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  • Mark Lundstrom (2011), "Lecture 9: Introduction to Phonon Transport," http://nanohub.org/resources/11869.

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Burton Morgan 121, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN