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Critically Assessing the Application of Quantum Corrections to Classical Thermal Conductivity Predictions

[+] Author Affiliations
J. E. Turney, A. J. H. McGaughey

Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA

C. H. Amon

Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA; University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada

Paper No. HT2009-88129, pp. 139-143; 5 pages
  • ASME 2009 Heat Transfer Summer Conference collocated with the InterPACK09 and 3rd Energy Sustainability Conferences
  • Volume 2: Theory and Fundamental Research; Aerospace Heat Transfer; Gas Turbine Heat Transfer; Computational Heat Transfer
  • San Francisco, California, USA, July 19–23, 2009
  • Conference Sponsors: Heat Transfer Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4357-4 | eISBN: 978-0-7918-3851-8
  • Copyright © 2009 by ASME


Quantum corrections can be used to map the thermal conductivity predicted in a classical framework [e.g., a molecular dynamics (MD) simulation] to a corresponding value in a quantum system. This procedure is accomplished by equating the total energies and energy fluxes of the classical and quantum systems. The validity of these corrections is questionable because they are introduced in an ad hoc manner and are not derived from first principles. In this work, the validity of these quantum corrections is examined by comparing the thermal conductivity of Stillinger-Weber silicon calculated using a full quantum mechanical treatment to a quantum-corrected value predicted from a classical framework between temperatures of 10 K and 1000 K. The quantum and classical predictions are obtained using anharmonic lattice dynamics calculations. We find discrepancies between the quantum-corrected predictions and the quantum predictions obtained directly. We investigate the causes of these discrepancies and from our findings, conclude that quantum thermal conductivities cannot be predicted by applying simple corrections to the values obtained from a purely classical framework.

Copyright © 2009 by ASME



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