Phonon diffraction and dimensionality crossover in phonon-interface scattering

Riley Hanus, Anupam Garg, G. Jeffery Snyder*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Thermal resistance at interfaces and grain boundaries is important in a range of fields from microelectronics to energy materials. Standard models treat interfaces as structureless even though at the nanoscale they are often better described as arrays of linear defects. Here, we examine several characteristics of heat transport that arise when considering such a structure at the interface. When heat carrying phonons scatter off linear defect arrays, diffraction of phonons occurs. Furthermore, a dimensionality crossover is observed in diffusive transport. Phonons transition from seeing a structureless planar defect when their wavelength is longer than the defect spacing, λ≳ D, to seeing the interface as a collection of independently scattering linear defects when λ≲ D. By applying this theory to grain boundary strain-field scattering, we show that this dimensionality crossover can explain the frequency dependence of grain boundary scattering and transmissivity, which results in the T2 temperature dependence observed in the low-T thermal conductivity of poly/nanocrystalline materials.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number78
JournalCommunications Physics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

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