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Phonon Hydrodynamics and Ultrahigh-Room Temperature Thermal Conductivity in Thin Graphite

Thamarasee Jeewandara via

Different forms of carbon or allotropes including graphene and diamond are among the best conductors of heat. In a recent report on Science, Yo Machida and a research team in the department of Physics and the Laboratory of Physics and Materials in Tokyo and France monitored the evolution of thermal conductivity in thin graphite. The property evolved as a function of temperature and thickness to reveal an intimate link between high conductivity, thickness and phonon (atomic vibrations observed as acoustic waves) hydrodynamics. They recorded the thermal conductivity (k) of graphite (8.5 µm thickness) to be 4300 Watts per meter-kelvin under room temperature. The value was well above that recorded for diamond and slightly higher than isotopically purified graphene.

The warming enhanced the thermal diffusivity across a wide temperature range to support partially hydrodynamic phonon flow. The observed increase in thermal conductivity with decreasing thickness indicated a correlation between out-of-plane momentum of phonons and the fraction of momentum-relaxing collisions. The scientists imply these observations relate to extreme phonon dispersion anisotropy in graphite.

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