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Phonon Mean Free Path and Thermal Conductivity Relation for Gallium Nitride

Fatma Nazli Donmezer
Mechanical Engineering Department, Middle East Technical University, Ankara, Turkey; Ozyegin University, Altunizade, Istanbul 34662

Samuel Graham
George W. Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, Georgia 30332, USA; School of Materials Science and Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, Georgia 30332, USA

DOI: 10.1615/TFESC1.mnc.012777
pages 1649-1655

KEY WORDS: Gallium Nitride, phonon, mean free path, thermal conductivity


It is important to know the mean free path of dominant energy carriers in materials when nanoscale heat transfer effects exist in devices. High electron mobility transistors from Gallium Nitride (GaN) are examples of such devices where localized heating complicate the transport properties. Since heat is transported within the GaN crystal by scattering events of many lattice vibrations (i.e. phonons) with different mean free paths, a single mean free path cannot be defined to describe the entire heat transfer of a crystal. This study is aimed to understand the mean free path - thermal conductivity relationship of phonons in bulk wurtzite GaN crystals. Phonon mean free paths and thermal conductivities are calculated theoretically using scattering probability relations for phonons within the Brilliouin zone. The results are used to obtain the thermal conductivity accumulation function for wurtzite GaN as a function of phonon mean free path.

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