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Intrinsic lattice thermal conductivity of semiconductors from first principles

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5 Author(s)
Broido, D.A. ; Department of Physics, Boston College, Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts 02467, USA ; Malorny, M. ; Birner, G. ; Mingo, Natalio
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We present an ab initio theoretical approach to accurately describe phonon thermal transport in semiconductors and insulators free of adjustable parameters. This technique combines a Boltzmann formalism with density functional calculations of harmonic and anharmonic interatomic force constants. Without any fitting parameters, we obtain excellent agreement (≪5% difference at room temperature) between the calculated and measured intrinsic lattice thermal conductivities of silicon and germanium. As such, this method may provide predictive theoretical guidance to experimental thermal transport studies of bulk and nanomaterials as well as facilitating the design of new materials.

Published in:

Applied Physics Letters  (Volume:91 ,  Issue: 23 )