Departmental Papers (MEAM)

Document Type

Journal Article

Date of this Version

June 2004


Postprint version. Published in Physica B: Condensed Matter, Volume 349, Issues 1-4, 15 June 2004, pages 270-280.
Publisher URL:


The nonequilibrium molecular dynamics (NEMD) method has been used to calculate the lattice thermal conductivities of Ar and Kr/Ar nanostructures in order to study the effects of interface scattering, boundary scattering, and elastic strain on lattice thermal conductivity. Results show that interface scattering poses significant resistance to phonon transport in superlattices and superlattice nanowires. The thermal conductivity of the Kr/Ar superlattice nanowire is only about 1/3 of that for pure Ar nanowires with the same cross sectional area and total length due to the additional interfacial thermal resistance. It is found that nanowire boundary scattering provides significant resistance to phonon transport. As the cross sectional area increases, the nanowire boundary scattering decreases, which leads to increased nanowire thermal conductivity. The ratio of the interfacial thermal resistance to the total effective thermal resistance increases from 30% for the superlattice nanowire to 42% for the superlattice film. Period length is another important factor affecting the effective thermal conductivity of the nanostructures. Increasing the period length will lead to increased acoustic mismatch between the adjacent layers, and hence increased interfacial thermal resistance. However, if the total length of the superlattice nanowire is fixed, reducing the period length will lead to decreased effective thermal conductivity due to the increased number of interfaces. Finally, it is found that the interfacial thermal resistance decreases as the reference temperature increases, which might be due to the inelastic interface scattering.


Superlattice Nanowire, Molecular Dynamics Simulation, Thermal Conductivity, Interface Scattering Effect



Date Posted: 21 January 2006

This document has been peer reviewed.