Mechanical strain dependence of thermal transport in amorphous silicon thin films

M. T. Alam, R. A. Pulavarthy, C. Muratore, M. A. Haque

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Recent computational studies predict mechanical strain-induced changes in thermal transport, which is yet to be validated by experimental data. In this article, we present experimental evidence of an increase in thermal conductivity of nominally 200-nm-thick freestanding amorphous silicon thin films under externally applied tensile loading. Using a combination of nanomechanical testing and infrared microscopy, we show that 2.5% tensile strain can increase thermal conductivity from 1 to 2.4 W/m-K. We propose that such an increase in thermal conductivity might be due to strain-induced changes in microstructure and/or carrier density. Microstructural and optical reflectivity characterization through Raman and infrared spectroscopy are presented to investigate this hypothesis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-16
Number of pages16
JournalNanoscale and Microscale Thermophysical Engineering
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials


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