Date of Award

8-2007

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Legacy Department

Physics

Advisor

Tritt, Terry

Committee Member

Marinescu , Catalina

Committee Member

Rao , Apparo

Abstract

Thermoelectrics is a promising avenue of energy conservation. A material is deemed a good thermoelectric material when it portrays certain material characteristics. These characteristics include a high thermopower and electrical conductivity and a low thermal conductivity. This thesis focuses on the methods of measuring a material's thermal conductivity.
The steady state method is a measurement technique used in the low temperature thermal conductivity measurements. This technique assures that the system and sample are at equilibrium before a measurement point is taken. As a result the measurements are both precise and accurate.
The laser flash technique measures a sample's thermal conductivity to higher temperatures than the low temperature thermal conductivity system. This technique sends a laser into the sample and measures the heat flow through the sample using a detector located at the opposite end of the sample.
In this thesis each thermal conductivity measurement technique is explained in detail. Certain data is presented and explained from each system. Lastly both the data and systems are compared. As a result the reader will be prepared to mount and run samples as well as analyze data from each of the thermal conductivity systems.

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