Fundamental insight into control of thermal conductivity in silicon-germanium alloy nanowires

Yongjin Lee, Gyeong S. Hwang

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


We present a computational analysis of thermal transport in Silicon-Germanium alloy nanowires (SiGeNWs), particularly focusing on the relative roles of alloy scattering and boundary scattering to the significant reduction of thermal conductivity (κ). Our nonequilibrium molecular dynamics (NEMD) simulations confirm the strong dependence of κ on Si:Ge ratio, as observed in previous experimental studies. Interestingly, as the amount of impurity increases, the difference in κ between SiGe bulk and SiGeNW becomes smaller. Especially, κSiGeNW and κSiGe have similar κ values when the Ge content is 20-80 %. From a nonequilibrium Green's function (NEGF)-density functional theory (DFT) analysis, it is suggested that the most reduction in transmission channels is attributed to the strong alloy scattering effect for both Si0.8Ge0.2 bulk and Si0.8Ge0.2 NW. The boundary scattering effect in the SiGe alloy system seems to be unimportant as alloy scattering is dominant. The improved understanding provides fundamental insight into how to modify Si-based materials to enhance their thermoelectric (TE) properties through nanostructuring and alloying.

Original languageEnglish
JournalMaterials Research Society Symposium - Proceedings
StatePublished - 2014
Event2014 MRS Spring Meeting - San Francisco, United States
Duration: 21 Apr 201425 Apr 2014

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2014 Materials Research Society.


  • simulation
  • thermal conductivity
  • thermoelectric


Dive into the research topics of 'Fundamental insight into control of thermal conductivity in silicon-germanium alloy nanowires'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this