Faculty Advisor or Committee Member

Germano S. Iannacchione, Advisor




Ever rising power densities and smaller transistor dimensions are increasing the challenge of thermal management within integrated-circuit chips and their surrounding packaging. In addition, the need for sustainable energy has placed urgent emphasis on energy conversion. Thermoelectric phenomena, involving the conversion of heat to electrical current, provide a central focus for both needs. Specifically, there is a need to engineer materials or composites with low thermal conductivity and high electrical conductivity for energy conversion and the opposite for heat management. In this presentation, experimental results will be presented of the specific heat and thermal conductivity of cobalt nanowires (CoNW), carbon nanotubes (CNT) and polymer-carbon nanotubes, in various composite arrangements with our high precession Calorimetric technique. Due to the nature of these samples, boundary and defect scattering of phonons in nanomaterials can dominate. This scattering phenomena shows decreasing thermal conductivity in metal nanowires, turns to be good for thermoelectric application. For the CNT, and possibly due to the high volume per atom leading to ballistic phonon propagation, the observed thermal conductivity along the nanotube direction, which leads to manage the heat dissipation problem in integrated circuits (ICs) and microprocessors. The thermal conductivity of a single Single-Wall Carbon Nanotube (SWCNT) was found to be 6600 W/mK, theoretically, twice that of diamond. When such high thermal conductivity materials are dispersed in a low thermal conducting polymer (PMMA), the effective thermal conductivity and thermal stability of the composite can change dramatically. The experimental results show good agreement with theoretical model proposed by Nelsen, Hamilton, Crosse, Geometric, and Xue. The thermal relaxation phenomena such as glass transition temperature (Tg) and dynamics of the molecules in the polymer-nanotubes composites, changes significantly different than the pure polymers during thermal treatment and is one of the focusing point of this presentation. Liquid crystalline materials confined to restrictive nano-channels are of great interest in many potential applications of electro-optics and display technology. This part of the presentation investigates the unexplored phenomenon of the coating and filling of 8CB and 10CB liquid crystals inside ~200nm diameter Multi-Wall Carbon nanopipes. The phase transition characteristics of the confined liquid crystal films were studied using MDSC technique and will be the last part of this presentation.


Worcester Polytechnic Institute

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Thermal Conductivity, Nanowires, Carbon Nanotubes, Polymer-Carbon nanotube Composites, AC Calorimetry, Liquid Crsytal Filling in MWCNPs