A subgrid physics model has been developed to analyze heat transfer in an integrated microsystem. By modeling the ‘multi-mode’ phonon scattering process in microstructures, the dominant microscale heat transfer mechanisms such as phonon scattering at thin-film boundaries and at grain boundaries will be captured. Thus a localized anisotropic thermal conductivity can be calculated for use in system analysis. With this new capability, a continuum thermal analysis tool can address thermal problems with multiple characteristic length scales. To demonstrate its capability, this subgrid physics model has been applied to simulate the thermal response of a microscale optical shutter. Result shows that internal material structures such as grain size can significantly change the thermal response of a microsystem.

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