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Phonon-Mediated Thermal Conductivity in Ionic Solids by Lattice Dynamics-Based Methods


  • The work of AC was supported by DARPA and the NSF Materials World Network Project under Grant No. DMR-0710523.

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Phonon properties predicted from lattice dynamics calculations and the Boltzmann Transport Equation (BTE) are used to elucidate the thermal-transport properties of ionic materials. It is found that a rigorous treatment of the Coulombic interactions within the harmonic analysis is needed for the analysis of the phonon structure of the solid, while a short-range approximation is sufficient for the third-order force constants. The effects on the thermal conductivity of the relaxation time approximation, the classical approximation to the phonon statistics, the direct summation method for the electrostatic interactions, and the quasi-harmonic approximation to lattice dynamics are quantified. Quantitative agreement is found between predictions from molecular dynamics simulations (a method valid at temperatures above the Debye temperature) and the BTE result within quasi-harmonic approximation over a wide temperature range.

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