Phonon Transport Across a Vacuum Gap

Narayanaswamy, Arvind; Sellan, D. P.; Landry, E. S.; Sasihithlu, Karthik; McGaughey, A. J. H.; Amon, C. H.

Phonon transport across a silicon/vacuum-gap/silicon structure is modeled using lattice dynamics calculations and Landauer theory. The phonons transmit thermal energy across the vacuum gap via atomic interactions between the leads. Because the incident phonons do not encounter a classically impenetrable potential barrier, this mechanism is not a tunneling phenomenon. While some incident phonons transmit across the vacuum gap and remain in their original mode, many are annihilated and excite different modes. We show that the heat flux due to phonon transport can be 4 orders of magnitude larger than that due to photon transport predicted from near-field radiation theory.


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Physical Review B

More About This Work

Academic Units
Mechanical Engineering
Published Here
April 3, 2013