Thermal conductivity reduction in silicon fishbone nanowires


Semiconductor nanowires are potential building blocks for future thermoelectrics because of their low thermal conductivity. Recent theoretical works suggest that thermal conductivity of nanowires can be further reduced by additional constrictions, pillars or wings. Here, we experimentally study heat conduction in silicon nanowires with periodic wings, called fishbone nanowires. We find that like in pristine nanowires, the nanowire cross-section controls thermal conductivity of fishbone nanowires. However, the periodic wings further reduce the thermal conductivity. Whereas an increase in the wing width only slightly affects the thermal conductivity, an increase in the wing depth clearly reduces thermal conductivity, and this reduction is stronger in the structures with narrower nanowires. Our experimental data is supported by the Callaway-Holland model, finite element modelling and phonon transport simulations.

Scientific Reports 8, 4452 (2018)