Mechanism of thermal conductivity reduction in few-layer graphene

Druv Singh, Purdue University
Jayathi Y. Murthy, Birck Nanotechnology Center, Purdue University
Timothy S. Fisher, Birck Nanotechnology Center, Purdue University

Date of this Version



Journal of Applied Physics: Volume 110, Issue 4


Copyright (2011) 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 Journal of Applied Physics : Volume 110, Issue 4 and may be found at The following article has been submitted to/accepted by Journal of Applied Physics. Copyright (2011) Dhruv Singh, Jayathi Y. Murthy, and Timothy S. Fisher. This article is distributed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.


Using the linearized Boltzmann transport equation and perturbation theory, we analyze the reduction in the intrinsic thermal conductivity of few-layer graphene sheets accounting for all possible three-phonon scattering events. Even with weak coupling between layers, a significant reduction in the thermal conductivity of the out-of-plane acoustic modes is apparent. The main effect of this weak coupling is to open many new three-phonon scattering channels that are otherwise absent in graphene. However, reflection symmetry is only weakly broken with the addition of multiple layers, and out-of-plane acoustic phonons still dominate thermal conductivity. We also find that reduction in thermal conductivity is mainly caused by lower contributions of the higher-order overtones of the fundamental out-of-plane acoustic mode. The results compare remarkably well over the entire temperature range with measurements of graphene and graphite. (C) 2011 American Institute of Physics. [doi:10.1063/1.3622300]


Nanoscience and Nanotechnology