Limit for thermal transport reduction in Si nanowires with nanoengineered corrugations

Sean E. Sullivan, Univiversity of Texas Austin
Keng-Hua Lin, Purdue University
Stanislav Avdoshenko, Purdue University
Alejandro Strachan, Purdue University, Birck Nanotechnology Center

Date of this Version



This is the publisher PDF of Sullivan, SE; Lin, KH; Avdoshenko, S; and Strachan, A. "Limit for thermal transport reduction in Si nanowires with nanoengineered corrugations." Applied Physics Letters 103, 243107, 2013. Copyright AIP, it is available at


Non-equilibrium molecular dynamics simulations reveal that the thermal conductance of Si nanowires with periodic corrugations is lower than that of smooth wires with cross-sections equivalent to the constricted portions. This reduction in conductance is up to 30% and tends to plateau with increasing corrugation height. Spatially resolved temperature and heat current maps provide a microscopic understanding of this effect; we find that 80% of the heat current is carried through the constricted area even for high-amplitude corrugations. More importantly, we show that temperature gradient inversion and heat current vortices at the ridge peaks establish fundamental limits on maximum conductance reduction. (C) 2013 AIP Publishing LLC.


Nanoscience and Nanotechnology