Phonon bottleneck identification in disordered nanoporous materials
Author(s)Romano, Giuseppe; Grossman, Jeffrey C.
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Nanoporous materials are a promising platform for thermoelectrics in that they offer high thermal conductivity tunability while preserving good electrical properties, a crucial requirement for high-efficiency thermal energy conversion. Understanding the impact of the pore arrangement on thermal transport is pivotal to engineering realistic materials, where pore disorder is unavoidable. Although there has been considerable progress in modeling thermal size effects in nanostructures, it has remained a challenge to screen such materials over a large phase space due to the slow simulation time required for accurate results. We use density functional theory in connection with the Boltzmann transport equation to perform calculations of thermal conductivity in disordered porous materials. By leveraging graph theory and regressive analysis, we identify the set of pores representing the phonon bottleneck and obtain a descriptor for thermal transport, based on the sum of the pore-pore distances between such pores. This approach provide a simple tool to estimate phonon suppression in realistic porous materials for thermoelectric applications and enhance our understanding of heat transport in disordered materials.
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Center for Materials Science and Engineering; Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Mechanical Engineering
Physical Review B
American Physical Society
Romano, Giuseppe, and Jeffrey C. Grossman. “Phonon Bottleneck Identification in Disordered Nanoporous Materials.” Physical Review B, vol. 96, no. 11, Sept. 2017.
Final published version