Phonon bottleneck identification in disordered nanoporous materials

TitlePhonon bottleneck identification in disordered nanoporous materials
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2017
AuthorsRomano, G, Grossman, JC
JournalPhysical Review B
Date Published2017/09/14/
ISBN Number2469-9950
Keywordsefficient thermoelectric-material, equation, holey silicon, si, thermal-conductivity, transport

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.

Short TitlePhys. Rev. B