Spectral decomposition of thermal conductivity: Comparing velocity decomposition methods in homogeneous molecular dynamics simulations

Alexander J. Gabourie, Zheyong Fan, Tapio Ala-Nissila, Eric Pop

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
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Abstract

The design of applications, especially those based on heterogeneous integration, must rely on detailed knowledge of material properties, such as thermal conductivity (TC). To this end, multiple methods have been developed to study TC as a function of vibrational frequency. Here, we compare three spectral TC methods based on velocity decomposition in homogenous molecular dynamics simulations: Green-Kubo modal analysis (GKMA), the spectral heat current (SHC) method, and a method we propose called homogeneous nonequilibrium modal analysis (HNEMA). First, we derive a convenient per-atom virial expression for systems described by general many-body potentials, enabling compact representations of the heat current, each velocity decomposition method, and other related quantities. Next, we evaluate each method by calculating the spectral TC for carbon nanotubes, graphene, and silicon. We show that each method qualitatively agrees except at optical phonon frequencies, where a combination of mismatched eigenvectors and a large density of states produces artificial TC peaks for modal analysis (MA) methods. Our calculations also show that the HNEMA and SHC methods converge much faster than the GKMA method, with the SHC method being the most computationally efficient. Finally, we demonstrate that our MA implementation in the Graphics Processing Units Molecular Dynamics code on a single graphics processing unit is over 1000 times faster than the existing implementation in the Large-scale Atomic/Molecular Massively Parallel Simulator code on one central processing unit.

Original languageEnglish
Article number205421
Number of pages11
JournalPhysical Review B
Volume103
Issue number20
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 17 May 2021
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

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