Intrinsic nanotwin effect on thermal boundary conductance in bulk and single-nanowire twinning superlattices

A Porter and C Tran and F Sansoz, PHYSICAL REVIEW B, 93, 195431 (2016).

DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevB.93.195431

Coherent twin boundaries form periodic lamellar twinning in a wide variety of semiconductor nanowires, and they are often viewed as near- perfect interfaces with reduced phonon and electron scattering behaviors. Such unique characteristics are of practical interest for high-performance thermoelectrics and optoelectronics; however, insufficient understanding of twin-size effects on thermal boundary resistance poses significant limitations for potential applications. Here, using atomistic simulations and ab initio calculations, we report direct computational observations showing a crossover from diffuse interface scattering to superlatticelike behavior for thermal transport across nanoscale twin boundaries present in prototypical bulk and nanowire Si examples. Intrinsic interface scattering is identified for twin periods >= 22.6 nm, but it also vanishes below this size to be replaced by ultrahigh Kapitza thermal conductances. Detailed analysis of vibrational modes shows that modeling twin boundaries as atomically thin 6H-Si layers, rather than phonon scattering interfaces, provides an accurate description of effective cross-plane and in-plane thermal conductivities in twinning superlattices, as a function of the twin period thickness.

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