Tunable thermal conductivity via domain structure engineering in ferroelectric thin films: A phase-field simulation

Jian Jun Wang, Yi Wang, Jon F. Ihlefeld, Patrick E. Hopkins, Long Qing Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


Effective thermal conductivity as a function of domain structure is studied by solving the heat conduction equation using a spectral iterative perturbation algorithm in materials with inhomogeneous thermal conductivity distribution. Using this proposed algorithm, the experimentally measured effective thermal conductivities of domain-engineered {001}p-BiFeO3 thin films are quantitatively reproduced. In conjunction with two other testing examples, this proposed algorithm is proven to be an efficient tool for interpreting the relationship between the effective thermal conductivity and micro-/domain-structures. By combining this algorithm with the phase-field model of ferroelectric thin films, the effective thermal conductivity for PbZr1-xTixO3 films under different composition, thickness, strain, and working conditions is predicted. It is shown that the chemical composition, misfit strain, film thickness, film orientation, and a Piezoresponse Force Microscopy tip can be used to engineer the domain structures and tune the effective thermal conductivity. Therefore, we expect our findings will stimulate future theoretical, experimental and engineering efforts on developing devices based on the tunable effective thermal conductivity in ferroelectric nanostructures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)220-231
Number of pages12
JournalActa Materialia
StatePublished - Jun 1 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Metals and Alloys


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