Thermal conductivity of electron-irradiated graphene

A Weerasinghe and A Ramasubramaniam and D Maroudas, APPLIED PHYSICS LETTERS, 111, 163101 (2017).

DOI: 10.1063/1.4997772

We report results of a systematic analysis of thermal transport in electron-irradiated, including irradiation-induced amorphous, graphene sheets based on nonequilibrium molecular-dynamics simulations. We focus on the dependence of the thermal conductivity, k, of the irradiated graphene sheets on the inserted irradiation defect density, c, as well as the extent of defect passivation with hydrogen atoms. While the thermal conductivity of irradiated graphene decreases precipitously from that of pristine graphene, k(0), upon introducing a low vacancy concentration, c < 1%, in the graphene lattice, further reduction of the thermal conductivity with the increasing vacancy concentration exhibits a weaker dependence on c until the amorphization threshold. Beyond the onset of amorphization, the dependence of thermal conductivity on the vacancy concentration becomes significantly weaker, and k practically reaches a plateau value. Throughout the range of c and at all hydrogenation levels examined, the correlation k = k(0)(1 + alpha c)(-1) gives an excellent description of the simulation results. The value of the coefficient alpha captures the overall strength of the numerous phonon scattering centers in the irradiated graphene sheets, which include monovacancies, vacancy clusters, carbon ring reconstructions, disorder, and a rough nonplanar sheet morphology. Hydrogen passivation increases the value of alpha, but the effect becomes very minor beyond the amorphization threshold. Published by AIP Publishing.

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