Thermal and thermoelectric transport in organic and inorganic nanostructures
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Thermal transport in nanowires and nanotubes has attached much attention due to their use in various functional devices and their use as a model system for low dimensional transport phenomena. The precise control of the crystal structure, defects, characteristic size, and electronic properties of nanowires has allowed for fundamental studies of phonon and electron transport in a variety of nanoscale systems. The thermal conductivity in nanostructured materials can vary greatly compared to bulk values owing to classical and quantum size effects. In this work, two model systems for investigating fundamental phonon transport were investigated for potential use in thermoelectric and thermal management applications. The thermoelectric properties of twin defect indium arsenide nanowires and the thermal conductivity of polythiophene nanofibers with improved polymer chain crystallinity were measured with a microfabricated measurement device. The effects of twin planes on reducing the mean free path of phonons in indium arsenide and the effects of improved chain alignment in increasing the thermal conductivity in polymer fibers is discussed.