Coherent phonon transport in short-period two-dimensional superlattices of graphene and boron nitride

C da Silva and F Saiz and DA Romero and CH Amon, PHYSICAL REVIEW B, 93, 125427 (2016).

DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevB.93.125427

Promoting coherent transport of phonons at material interfaces is a promising strategy for controlling thermal transport in nanostructures and an alternative to traditional methods based on structural defects. Coherent transport is particularly relevant in short-period heterostructures with smooth interfaces and long-wavelength heat- carrying phonons, such as two-dimensional superlattices of graphene and boron nitride. In this work, we predict phonon properties and thermal conductivities in these superlattices using a normal mode decomposition approach. We study the variation of the frequency dependence of these properties with the periodicity and interface configuration (zigzag and armchair) for superlattices with period lengths within the coherent regime. Our results showed that the thermal conductivity decreases significantly from the first period length (0.44 nm) to the second period length (0.87 nm), 13% across the interfaces and 16% along the interfaces. For greater periods, the conductivity across the interfaces continues decreasing at a smaller rate of 11 W/mK per period length increase (0.43 nm), driven by changes in the phonon group velocities (coherent effects). In contrast, the conductivity along the interfaces slightly recovers at a rate of 2 W/mK per period, driven by changes in the phonon relaxation times (diffusive effects). By changing the interface configuration from armchair to zigzag, the conductivities for all period lengths increase by approximately 7% across the interfaces and 19% along the interfaces.

Return to Publications page