Phonon Transport at Crystalline Si/Ge Interfaces: The Role of Interfacial Modes of Vibration

K Gordiz and A Henry, SCIENTIFIC REPORTS, 6, 23139 (2016).

DOI: 10.1038/srep23139

We studied the modal contributions to heat conduction at crystalline Si and crystalline Ge interfaces and found that more than 15% of the interface conductance arises from less than 0.1% of the modes in the structure. Using the recently developed interface conductance modal analysis (ICMA) method along with a new complimentary methodology, we mapped the correlations between modes, which revealed that a small group of interfacial modes, which exist between 12-13 THz, exhibit extremely strong correlation with other modes in the system. It is found that these interfacial modes (e.g., modes with large eigen vectors for interfacial atoms) are enabled by the degree of anharmonicity near the interface, which is higher than in the bulk, and therefore allows this small group of modes to couple to all others. The analysis sheds light on the nature of localized vibrations at interfaces and can be enlightening for other investigations of localization.

Return to Publications page