Crystals and glasses exhibit fundamentally different heat conduction mechanisms: the periodicity of crystals allows for the excitation of propagating vibrational waves that carry heat, as first discussed by Peierls, while in glasses the lack of periodicity breaks Peierls's picture and heat is mainly carried by the coupling of vibrational modes, often described by a harmonic theory introduced by Allen and Feldman. Anharmonicity or disorder are thus the limiting factors for thermal conductivity in crystals or glasses. Hitherto, no transport equation has been able to account for both. Here, we derive such an equation, resulting in a thermal conductivity that reduces to the Peierls and Allen-Feldman limits, respectively, in anharmonic crystals or harmonic glasses, while also covering the intermediate regimes where both effects are relevant. This approach also solves the long-standing problem of accurately predicting the thermal properties of crystals with ultralow or glass-like thermal conductivity, as we show with an application to a thermoelectric material representative of this class.

Unified theory of thermal transport in crystals and glasses / Simoncelli, Michele; Marzari, Nicola; Mauri, Francesco. - In: NATURE PHYSICS. - ISSN 1745-2473. - 15:8(2019), pp. 809-+. [10.1038/s41567-019-0520-x]

Unified theory of thermal transport in crystals and glasses

Marzari, Nicola;Mauri, Francesco
Ultimo
2019

Abstract

Crystals and glasses exhibit fundamentally different heat conduction mechanisms: the periodicity of crystals allows for the excitation of propagating vibrational waves that carry heat, as first discussed by Peierls, while in glasses the lack of periodicity breaks Peierls's picture and heat is mainly carried by the coupling of vibrational modes, often described by a harmonic theory introduced by Allen and Feldman. Anharmonicity or disorder are thus the limiting factors for thermal conductivity in crystals or glasses. Hitherto, no transport equation has been able to account for both. Here, we derive such an equation, resulting in a thermal conductivity that reduces to the Peierls and Allen-Feldman limits, respectively, in anharmonic crystals or harmonic glasses, while also covering the intermediate regimes where both effects are relevant. This approach also solves the long-standing problem of accurately predicting the thermal properties of crystals with ultralow or glass-like thermal conductivity, as we show with an application to a thermoelectric material representative of this class.
2019
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Unified theory of thermal transport in crystals and glasses / Simoncelli, Michele; Marzari, Nicola; Mauri, Francesco. - In: NATURE PHYSICS. - ISSN 1745-2473. - 15:8(2019), pp. 809-+. [10.1038/s41567-019-0520-x]
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11573/1336129
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