Liquid-like thermal conduction in a crystalline solid

B. Li*, Y. Kawakita, Q. Zhang, H. Wang, M. Feygenson, H. L. Yu, D. Wu, K. Ohara, T. Kikuchi, K. Shibata, T. Yamada, Y. Chen, J. Q. He, D. Vaknin, R. Q. Wu, K. Nakajima, M. G. Kanatzidis

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


As a generic property, all substances transfer heat through microscopic collisions of constituent particles1. A solid conducts heat through both transverse and longitudinal acoustic phonons, but a liquid employs only longitudinal vibrations2,3. As a result of this difference, a solid is usually thermally more conductive than a liquid. In canonical viewpoints, such a difference also acts as the dynamic signature distinguishing a solid from a liquid. Here, we report liquid-like thermal conduction observed in the crystalline solid AgCrSe2. The transverse acoustic (TA) phonons that are exclusively dominated by motions of Ag atoms are completely suppressed by the ultrafast dynamic disorder while only the longitudinal acoustic (LA) phonon takes effect in thermal transport. This microscopic insight might reshape the fundamental understanding on thermal transport properties of matter and opens up an emergent opportunity to optimize performances of thermoelectrics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalUnknown Journal
StatePublished - Jan 4 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

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