Thermal conductivity of silicon nanowires: From fundamentals to phononic engineering



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Silicon nanowires have attracted great interest in recent years due to their ideal interface compatibility with silicon-based electronic technology and their various potential applications, such as energy harvest and generation, and thermal management. A variety of theoretical and experimental studies have been conducted to understand the thermal properties of silicon nanowires. In this review, we summarize the recent progress in this field from the perspective of both theoretical calculations and experiments. First, we introduce the fundamental physics underlying the thermal conduction of silicon nanowires. Then, the various approaches to manipulate the thermal conductivity of silicon nanowires are discussed. Finally, based on the understanding of dominant scattering mechanisms in different phonon frequency regimes, we present the basic concept of phononic engineering to control the thermal conductivity of silicon nanowires. (© 2013 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim)