Heat conduction across a solid-solid interface: Understanding nanoscale interfacial effects on thermal resistance
Puri, Ishwar K.
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Phonons scatter and travel ballistically in systems smaller than the phonon mean free path. At larger lengths, the transport is instead predominantly diffusive. We employ molecular dynamics simulations to describe the length dependence of the thermal conductivity. The simulations show that the interfacial thermal resistance R-k for a Si-Ge superlattice is inversely proportional to its length, but reaches a constant value as the system dimension becomes larger than the phonon mean free path. This nanoscale effect is incorporated into an accurate continuum model by treating the interface as a distinct material with an effective thermal resistance equal to R-k. (C) 2011 American Institute of Physics. [doi: 10.1063/1.3607477]