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Thickness and Temperature Dependent Thermal Conductivity of Nanoscale Tin Films

[+] Author Affiliations
Pankaj B. Kaul, Vikas Prakash

Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH

Paper No. IMECE2011-65576, pp. 1757-1766; 10 pages
  • ASME 2011 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition
  • Volume 4: Energy Systems Analysis, Thermodynamics and Sustainability; Combustion Science and Engineering; Nanoengineering for Energy, Parts A and B
  • Denver, Colorado, USA, November 11–17, 2011
  • Conference Sponsors: ASME
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5490-7
  • Copyright © 2011 by ASME


Thin films in general exhibit different thermal properties compared to bulk due to size effect [1–3]. In this study, the thermal conductivity of sputtered Sn films of thickness 500 nm ± 50 nm and 100 nm ± 20 nm are obtained from 55K to 300K and from 40K to 310K, respectively, using the three omega method. The thermal conductivity of 500 nm thin film at room temperature is 46.2 ±4.2 W/m-K, which is lower when compared to its bulk value of 63 W/m-K, and increases gradually as the temperature is lowered to 55K. In contrast, the thermal conductivity of the 100 nm thin film exhibits even reduced thermal conductivity, 36 ± 2.88 W/m-K at 300K, when compared to the 500 nm film, and decreases as the temperature is lowered. The reduction in thermal conductivity of Sn thin film may be due to the pronounced effects of electron scattering at the grain boundaries as well as the twin boundaries in addition to the scattering from the boundary surface at lower temperatures. These experimentally determined thermal conductivities are compared to models that take into account size effects on thermal conductivity of metallic films based on electronic scattering as proposed by Fuchs-Sondheimer (FS), Mayadas-Shatzkes (MS) and Qiu and Tien (QT). The experimentally measured thermal conductivity of Sn films is in good agreement with the MS model indicating the importance of the grain boundary scattering. Thickness measurements are obtained by ellipsometry and profilometer. The estimation of the mean grain size in both films and the evidence of twin boundaries are obtained by Atomic Force Microscopy.

Copyright © 2011 by ASME



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