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Effects of Anisotropy, Interfacial Thermal Resistance, Microstructure, and Film Thickness on the Thermal Conductivity of Dielectric Thin Films

J. Lambropoulos
S. D. Jacobs
S. J. Burns
L. Shaw-Klein
Journal / Anthology

Fundamental Issues in Small Scale Heat Transfer
Year: 1992
Volume: 227
Page range: 37-49

We consider several effects which, according to experimental investigations, affect the thermal conductivity of thin films. The heat conduction equation is used to analyse the effects of thermal anisotropy parallel and normal to the film surface and interfacial thermal resistance. It is found that for surface heating an equivalent isotropic film can be established and that the presence of large interfacial thermal resistance leads to a strong dependence of film thermal conductivity on film thickness, especially for thin films. The theory of phonon scattering is used to further investigate the effects of film thickness and microstructure characterized by a grain size and by impurities. Literature data on the thermal conductivity of bulk single elements (Si, Ge, diamond), or compounds (AlN, GaAs, MgO, BeO, SiOs, Al2O3) are used to show that the effect of film thickness depends strongly on temperature as well as on film microstructure. As an example, the thermal conductivity of AlN films is discussed within the framework of the phenomenological and microscopic models presented above.

*Science > Physics > Thermodynamics and Statistical Mechanics