We study the effect of confinement on the phonon properties of ultra-narrow silicon nanowires of side sizes of 1 nm to 10 nm. We use the modified valence force field (MVFF) method to compute the phononic dispersion and extract the density of states, the transmission function, the sound velocity, the ballistic thermal conductance, and boundary-scattering-limited diffusive thermal conductivity. We find that the phononic dispersion and the ballistic thermal conductance are functions of the geometrical features of the structures, i.e., the transport orientation and confinement dimension. The phonon group velocity and thermal conductance can vary by a factor of two depending on the geometrical features of the channel. The 〈110#x232A; nanowire has the highest group velocity and thermal conductance, whereas the 〈111#x232A; has the lowest. The 〈111#x232A; channel is thus the most suitable orientation for thermoelectric devices based on Si nanowires since it also has a large power factor. Our findings could be useful in the thermal transport design of silicon-based devices for thermoelectric and thermal management applications.
Confined phonons silicon nanowires lattice thermal conductance modified valence force field method Landauer formula
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