Modeling the thermal conductance of phononic crystal plates

Pages: 737 - 746, Issue special, November 2013

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Stefanie Thiem - Rudolf Peierls Center for Theoretical Physics, University of Oxford, Oxford OX1 3NP, United Kingdom (email)
Jörg Lässig - Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, University of Applied Sciences Zittau/Görlitz, D-02826 Görlitz, Germany (email)

Abstract: The paper presents a model to compute the phonon thermal conductance of phononic crystal plates. The goal is the optimization of the figure of merit for these materials, which is the primary criterion for the efficiency of a thermoelectric device. Values of about three or higher allow for the construction of thermoelectric generators based on the Seebeck effect, which are more efficient than conventional electrical generators. The paper introduces a numerical method to optimize the phonon thermal conductance of a given phononic material by varying the geometrical structure with respect to the width and thickness of a sample as well as pore size, shape, and mass density.

Keywords:  Phononic crystal plates, Landauer-Büttiker thermal conductance, thermoelectric material, figure of merit, supercell Plane-Wave-Expansion approach.
Mathematics Subject Classification:  35Q79.

Received: September 2012; Published: November 2013.