Phonon localization in ultrathin layered structures
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An efficient way for minimizing phonon thermal conductivity in solids is to nanostructure them by means of reduced phonon mean free path, phonon scattering and phonon reflection at interfaces. A sophisticated approach toward this lies in the fabrication of thin multilayer films of different materials. In this paper, we show by femtosecond-pump-probe reflectivity measurements that in different multilayer systems with varying acoustic mismatch (consisting of metals, semiconductors, oxides and polymers), oscillations due to phonon localization can be observed. For the growth of multilayer films with well-defined layer thicknesses, we used magnetron sputtering, evaporation and pulsed laser deposition. By altering the material combinations and reducing the layer thicknesses down to 3 nm, we observed different mechanisms of phonon blocking, reaching in the frequency regime up to 360 GHz.
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