The effect of external temperature gradients on thermal conductivity in non-equilibrium molecular dynamics simulations: From nanowires to bulk Si

ER Zhang and YP Yao and TY Gao and DD Kang and JH Wu and JY Dai, JOURNAL OF CHEMICAL PHYSICS, 151, 064116 (2019).

DOI: 10.1063/1.5107485

Nonequilibrium molecular dynamics is widely used to calculate the thermal conductivity of various materials, but the influence of temperature gradient to thermal conductivity has received limited attention within current research studies. The purpose of this article is to explore the discrepancy between intrinsic and extrinsic thermal conductivities under different temperature gradients, which can be considered as external fields. The analyses of phonon density of states have shown that the temperature gradient plays a role in the external field, and a larger temperature gradient activates more low-frequency vibrational modes, which leads to larger thermal conductivities. Specially, the thermal conductivity increases linearly with the temperature gradient when using Stillinger-Weber (SW) potential. Moreover, a new formula was derived to satisfactorily fit the thermal conductivities of bulk Si and silicon nanowires (SiNWs) for various cell sizes, and the physical meaning of the formula was explained. It is shown that the SW potential and Tersoff potential of Si produce different thermal conductivities. By comparing the results of first principles simulations, the Tersoff potential gives rise to better description of vibrational modes. Published under license by AIP Publishing.

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