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Two-Dimensional Phonon Transport In Supported Graphene

J. Seol, I. Jo, Arden Moore, L. Lindsay, Zachary H. Aitken, M. Pettes, Xuesong Li, Z. Yao, R. Huang, D. Broido, N. Mingo, R. Ruoff, L. Shi
Published 2010 · Materials Science, Medicine

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Heat Flow in Graphene Unsupported graphene sheets show exceptional thermal transport properties, but are these properties maintained when a graphene sheet is in contact with a substrate? Seol et al. (p. 213; see the Perspective by Prasher) measured the thermal conductivity of graphene supported on silicon dioxide and found that, while the conductivity was considerably lower than that of free-standing graphene, it was still greater than that of metals such as copper. A theoretical model suggested that the out-of-plane flexing vibrations of the graphene play a key role in thermal transport. Thus, graphene may help in applications such as conducting heat away from electronic circuits. The thermal conductivity of graphene supported on silicon dioxide remains high, despite phonon scattering by the substrate. The reported thermal conductivity (κ) of suspended graphene, 3000 to 5000 watts per meter per kelvin, exceeds that of diamond and graphite. Thus, graphene can be useful in solving heat dissipation problems such as those in nanoelectronics. However, contact with a substrate could affect the thermal transport properties of graphene. Here, we show experimentally that κ of monolayer graphene exfoliated on a silicon dioxide support is still as high as about 600 watts per meter per kelvin near room temperature, exceeding those of metals such as copper. It is lower than that of suspended graphene because of phonons leaking across the graphene-support interface and strong interface-scattering of flexural modes, which make a large contribution to κ in suspended graphene according to a theoretical calculation.
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