Impeded thermal transport in Si multiscale hierarchical architectures with phononic crystal nanostructures


In-plane thermal conduction and phonon transport in both single-crystalline and polycrystalline Si two-dimensional phononic crystal (PnC) nanostructures were investigated at room temperature. The impact of phononic patterning on thermal conductivity was larger in polycrystalline Si PnCs than in single-crystalline Si PnCs. The difference in the impact is attributed to the difference in the thermal phonon mean free path (MFP) distribution induced by grain boundary scattering in the two materials. Grain size analysis and numerical simulation using the Monte Carlo technique indicate that grain boundaries and phononic patterning are efficient phonon scattering mechanisms for different MFP length scales. This multiscale phonon scattering structure covers a large part of the broad distribution of thermal phonon MFPs and thus efficiently reduces thermal conduction.

Physical Review B 91, 205422 (2015)