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Contributions of mass and bond energy difference and interface defects on thermal boundary conductance
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The impact of mass and bond energy difference and interface defects on thermal boundary conductance (TBC) is investigated using non-equilibrium molecular dynamics (NEMD) with the Lennard-Jones (L-J) interatomic potential. Results show that the maximum TBC is achieved when the mass and bond energy of two dissimilar materials are matched, although the effective thermal conductivity is not necessarily a maximum due to the contributions of the thermal conductivity of the constituent materials. Mass and bond energy differences result in a mismatch between phonon dispersions, limiting high frequency phonon transport at the interface. This frequency mismatch is defined by a frequency ratio, which is a ratio of the characteristic frequencies of the two materials, presented in the discussion section, and is a reference of the level of phonon dispersion mismatch. Inelastic scattering may result at higher temperatures, especially when there exists a bond energy difference, resulting in strain in the lattice, which would allow phonons outside the allowable frequency range to contribute to transport. TBC decreases abruptly with small mass differences, but at which point larger differences in mass have no impact. In addition, interdiffusion across the interface further reduces the TBC between the frequency ratios of 0.79 and 1.26 while vacancies have negligible impact.
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