The thermal conductivity of silicon nanowires was predicted using the nonequilibrium molecular dynamics method using the Stillinger-Weber potential model and the Nose-Hoover thermostat. The dependence of the thermal conductivity on the wire length, cross-sectional area, and temperature was investigated. The surface along the longitudinal direction was set as a free boundary with potential boundaries in the other directions. The cross-sectional areas of the nanowires ranged from about 5 to 19 nm2 with lengths ranging from 6 to 54 nm. The thermal conductivity dependence on temperature agrees well with the experimental results. The reciprocal of the thermal conductivity was found to be linearly related to the nanowire length. These results quantitatively show that decreasing the cross-sectional area reduces the phonon mean free path in nanowires.
ASJC Scopus subject areas