Tensile strains give rise to strong size effects for thermal conductivities of silicene, germanene and stanene

Y. D. Kuang, L. Lindsay, San-Qiang Shi, Guangping Zheng

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

128 Citations (Scopus)


Based on first principles calculations and self-consistent solution of the linearized Boltzmann-Peierls equation for phonon transport approach within a three-phonon scattering framework, we characterize lattice thermal conductivities k of freestanding silicene, germanene and stanene under different isotropic tensile strains and temperatures. We find a strong size dependence of k for silicene with tensile strain, i.e., divergent k with increasing system size; however, the intrinsic room temperature k for unstrained silicene converges with system size to 19.34 W m-1K-1at 178 nm. The room temperature k of strained silicene becomes as large as that of bulk silicon at 84 μm, indicating the possibility of using strain in silicene to manipulate k for thermal management. The relative contribution to the intrinsic k from out-of-plane acoustic modes is largest for unstrained silicene, ∼39% at room temperature. The single mode relaxation time approximation, which works reasonably well for bulk silicon, fails to appropriately describe phonon thermal transport in silicene, germanene and stanene within the temperature range considered. For large samples of silicene, k increases with tensile strain, peaks at ∼7% strain and then decreases with further strain. In germanene and stanene, increasing strain hardens and stabilizes long wavelength out-of-plane acoustic phonons, and leads to similar k behaviors to those of silicene. These findings further our understanding of phonon dynamics in group-IV buckled monolayers and may guide transfer and fabrication techniques for these freestanding samples and engineering of k by size and strain for applications of thermal management and thermoelectricity.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3760-3767
Number of pages8
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 14 Feb 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science


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