Knowledge of the mean-free-path distribution of heat-carrying phonons is key to understanding phonon-mediated thermal transport. We demonstrate that thermal conductivity measurements of thin membranes spanning a wide thickness range can be used to characterize how bulk thermal conductivity is distributed over phonon mean free paths. A noncontact transient thermal grating technique was used to measure the thermal conductivity of suspended Si membranes ranging from 15-1500 nm in thickness. A decrease in the thermal conductivity from 74-13% of the bulk value is observed over this thickness range, which is attributed to diffuse phonon boundary scattering. Due to the well-defined relation between the membrane thickness and phonon mean-free-path suppression, combined with the range and accuracy of the measurements, we can reconstruct the bulk thermal conductivity accumulation vs. phonon mean free path, and compare with theoretical models.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Journal||Physical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics|
|State||Published - Jun 17 2015|
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© 2015 American Physical Society.