, 85:372
Date: 19 Nov 2012

Landauer formula for phonon heat conduction: relation between energy transmittance and transmission coefficient

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The heat current across a quantum harmonic system connected to reservoirs at different temperatures is given by the Landauer formula, in terms of an integral over phonon frequencies ω, of the energy transmittance \hbox{$\mathcal{T}(\omega)$}𝒯(ω). There are several different ways to derive this formula, for example using the Keldysh approach or the Langevin equation approach. The energy transmittance \hbox{$\mathcal{T}(\omega)$} 𝒯(ω) is usually expressed in terms of nonequilibrium phonon Green’s function and it is expected that it is related to the transmission coefficient τ(ω) of plane waves across the system. In this paper, for a one-dimensional set-up of a finite harmonic chain connected to reservoirs which are also semi-infinite harmonic chains, we present a simple and direct demonstration of the relation between \hbox{$\mathcal{T}(\omega)$}𝒯(ω) and τ(ω). Our approach is easily extendable to the case where both system and reservoirs are in higher dimensions and have arbitrary geometries, in which case the meaning of τ and its relation to \hbox{$\mathcal{T}$}𝒯are more non-trivial.