Effect of surface roughness on thermal conductivity of silicon nanowires

Ling LIU, Xi CHEN*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review

89 Citations (Scopus)


Reducing the thermal conductivity of nanowires may enhance their already exciting efficiency of thermoelectric energy conversion. Using molecular dynamics simulations, we demonstrate that the thermal conductivity of silicon nanowires could be significantly decreased by patterning (or etching) induced roughness of the nanowire surfaces. The type, amplitude, and wavelength of the surface roughness all have profound effects, and the thermal conductivity could be reduced more when the wavelength is smaller or the amplitude is larger. Such an effect of roughness on the thermal conductivity is furthermore found to be coupled with the effects of nanowire cross-sectional size and length. Typically, the roughness effect is more prominent in longer and larger nanowires. © 2010 American Institute of Physics.
Original languageEnglish
Article number33501
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Applied Physics
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2010
Externally publishedYes


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