Heat-transport mechanisms in molecular building blocks of inorganic/organic hybrid superlattices

Ashutosh Giri, Janne Petteri Niemelä, Tommi Tynell, John T. Gaskins, Brian F. Donovan, Maarit Karppinen, Patrick E. Hopkins

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    Abstract

    Nanomaterial interfaces and concomitant thermal resistances are generally considered as atomic-scale planes that scatter the fundamental energy carriers. Given that the nanoscale structural and chemical properties of solid interfaces can strongly influence this thermal boundary conductance, the ballistic and diffusive nature of phonon transport along with the corresponding phonon wavelengths can affect how energy is scattered and transmitted across an interfacial region between two materials. In hybrid composites composed of atomic layer building blocks of inorganic and organic constituents, the varying interaction between the phononic spectrum in the inorganic crystals and vibronic modes in the molecular films can provide a new avenue to manipulate the energy exchange between the fundamental vibrational energy carriers across interfaces. Here, we systematically study the heat transfer mechanisms in hybrid superlattices of atomic- and molecular-layer-grown zinc oxide and hydroquinone with varying thicknesses of the inorganic and organic layers in the superlattices. We demonstrate ballistic energy transfer of phonons in the zinc oxide that is limited by scattering at the zinc oxide/hydroquinone interface for superlattices with a single monolayer of hydroquinone separating the thicker inorganic layers. The concomitant thermal boundary conductance across the zinc oxide interfacial region approaches the maximal thermal boundary conductance of a zinc oxide phonon flux, indicative of the contribution of long wavelength vibrations across the aromatic molecular monolayers in transmitting energy across the interface. This transmission of energy across the molecular interface decreases considerably as the thickness of the organic layers are increased.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number115310
    JournalPhysical Review B
    Volume93
    Issue number11
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 16 Mar 2016
    MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

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