Heat transport in silicon from first-principles calculations
Author(s)Esfarjani, Keivan; Chen, Gang; Stokes, Harold T.
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Using harmonic and anharmonic force constants extracted from density functional calculations within a supercell, we have developed a relatively simple but general method to compute thermodynamic and thermal properties of any crystal. First, from the harmonic, cubic, and quartic force constants, we construct a force field for molecular dynamics. It is exact in the limit of small atomic displacements and thus does not suffer from inaccuracies inherent in semiempirical potentials such as Stillinger-Weber's. By using the Green-Kubo formula and molecular dynamics simulations, we extract the bulk thermal conductivity. This method is accurate at high temperatures where three-phonon processes need to be included to higher orders, but may suffer from size scaling issues. Next, we use perturbation theory (Fermi golden rule) to extract the phonon lifetimes and compute the thermal conductivity κ from the relaxation-time approximation. This method is valid at most temperatures, but will overestimate κ at very high temperatures, where higher-order processes neglected in our calculations also contribute. As a test, these methods are applied to bulk crystalline silicon, and the results are compared and differences are discussed in more detail. The presented methodology paves the way for a systematic approach to model heat transport in solids using multiscale modeling, in which the relaxation time due to anharmonic three-phonon processes is calculated quantitatively, in addition to the usual harmonic properties such as phonon frequencies and group velocities. It also allows the construction of an accurate bulk interatomic potentials database.
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Mechanical Engineering
Physical Review B
American Physical Society
Esfarjani, Keivan, Gang Chen, and Harold Stokes. “Heat transport in silicon from first-principles calculations.” Physical Review B 84 (2011). ©2011 American Physical Society.
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