Effects of Mass Fluctuation on Thermal Transport Properties in Bulk Bi2Te3

B Huang and PC Zhai and XQ Yang and GD Li, JOURNAL OF ELECTRONIC MATERIALS, 46, 2797-2806 (2017).

DOI: 10.1007/s11664-016-4977-4

In this paper, we applied large-scale molecular dynamics and lattice dynamics to study the influence of mass fluctuation on thermal transport properties in bulk Bi2Te3, namely thermal conductivity (De), phonon density of state (PDOS), group velocity (v (g)), and mean free path (l). The results show that total atomic mass change can affect the relevant vibrational frequency on the micro level and heat transfer rate in the macro statistic, hence leading to the strength variation of the anharmonic phonon processes (Umklapp scattering) in the defect-free Bi2Te3 bulk. Moreover, it is interesting to find that the anharmonicity of Bi2Te3 can be also influenced by atomic differences of the structure such as the mass distribution in the primitive cell. Considering the asymmetry of the crystal structure and interatomic forces, it can be concluded by phonon frequency, lifetime, and velocity calculation that acoustic-optical phonon scattering shows the structure-sensitivity to the mass distribution and complicates the heat transfer mechanism, hence resulting in the low lattice thermal conductivity of Bi2Te3. This study is helpful for designing the material with tailored thermal conductivity via atomic substitution.

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