Coupled vibrational modes in multiple-filled skutterudites and the effects on lattice thermal conductivity reduction

Liang Guo, Birck Nanotechnology Center, Purdue University
Xianfan Xu, Birck Nanotechnology Center, Purdue University
J. R. Salvador, GM Global R&D
G. P. Meisner, GM Global R&D

Date of this Version



Appl. Phys. Lett. 102, 111905 (2013)


Copyright (2013) American Institute of Physics. This article may be downloaded for personal use only. Any other use requires prior permission of the author and the American Institute of Physics. The following article appeared in Appl. Phys. Lett. 102, 111905 (2013) and may be found at The following article has been submitted to/accepted by Applied Physics Letters. Copyright (2013) L. Guo, X. Xu, J. R. Salvador and G. P. Meisner. This article is distributed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.


The influence of guest atoms on thermal conduction in filled skutterudites was studied using ultrafast reflectance spectroscopy. Different filling species cause coupled vibrational modes between the guest atoms and the host lattice at different frequencies, which scatter phonons in different spectral spans. Using a Debye model for the measured lattice thermal conductivity together with the measured vibration frequencies and scattering rates, it is shown that scattering due to the coupled vibrational modes has a considerable contribution to the suppression of lattice thermal conduction. This demonstrates that filling with multiple species can efficiently reduce the lattice thermal conductivity in skutterudites. (C) 2013 American Institute of Physics. []


Nanoscience and Nanotechnology