Jackson R. Harter

I am in my third year as a PhD student at Oregon State University. My advisor is Todd Palmer and my co-advisor is Alex Greaney1; I am also a member of the Computational Materials Group at UC Riverside.

Email: harterj@oregonstate.edu
You can find my resume here.


Research areas

We are interested in simulating deterministic phonon transport using the code Rattlesnake (written in the MOOSE framework) to predict thermal conductivity in nuclear fuels operating at high temperatures with isotopic defects and evolving microstructures. We are developing a framework to bridge the gap between the atomistic and engineering scale, and collaborate with Dr. Alex Greaney and his research group at UC Riverside.

We have shown Rattlesnake to be an effective and efficient engine for simulating homogeneous phonon transport; it solves the frequency independent equation of phonon radiative transfer in the Self-Adjoint Angular Flux formulation using the single mode relaxation time approximation. We are interested in phonon transport at high temperatures and therefore must implement multifrequency transport to model these physics effectively, in addition to considering contributions from anharmonic three- and four-phonon processes.

Thermal boundary resistance

Phonons crossing a material interface experience a phenomenon known as thermal boundary resistance (TBR), unlike neutrons which rely on a cross section of interaction to dictate their scattering behavior in materials. TBR occurs when phonons cross an interface; phonons are either transmitted or reflected based on probabilities which are dependent on internal energy, phonon velocity and density of states. We apply the diffuse mismatch model (DMM) to quantify the behavior of phonons at interfaces, which generates probabilities of transmission or reflection through that interface. We have implemented this method for 3D heterogeneous structures with quantized defects. These physics are necessary to include due to the highly mismatched interfaces (such as an interface between a xenon bubble and a surrounding UO lattice).

Multi-frequency phonon transport

We have previously developed the capability of phonon transport in the gray approximation – analogous to one-speed thermal radiation transport. This approach is beneficial in the rapid development of methodologies but falls short in highly resolved predictions of heat flux and thermal conductivity. We leverage the multi-group capability present in Rattlesnake to simulate multi-frequency phonon transport. We take data generated through ab-initio density functional theory (DFT) simulations by our colleagues at the UC Riverside campus and integrate it into our Boltzmann phonon transport simulations. While this capability is still in development, we have simulated temperature gradients, heat flux and thermal conductivity in silicon. We can show the contribution to overall thermal conductivity from each phonon polarization, mode, frequency and predict an average value of in the material.


Active research areas


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Work history


Personal interests

I love Oregon and the west coast. I’m into fly fishing, yoga, shooting guns, cooking, H.P. Lovecraft, old science fiction, rare cooking/science books, computer games, board games, and much more.


Interesting news articles


  1. Assistant Professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering and MS&E Program, University of California - Riverside ↩︎