Phonon engineering through crystal chemistry

Eric S. Toberer*, Alex Zevalkink, G. Jeffrey Snyder

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

607 Scopus citations


Mitigation of the global energy crisis requires tailoring the thermal conductivity of materials. Low thermal conductivity is critical in a broad range of energy conversion technologies, including thermoelectrics and thermal barrier coatings. Here, we review the chemical trends and explore the origins of low thermal conductivity in crystalline materials. A unifying feature in the latest materials is the incorporation of structural complexity to decrease the phonon velocity and increase scattering. With this understanding, strategies for combining these mechanisms can be formulated for designing new materials with exceptionally low thermal conductivity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)15843-15852
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Materials Chemistry
Issue number40
StatePublished - Oct 4 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Materials Chemistry


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