Using molecular dynamics phonon wave packet simulations, we study phonon transmission across hexagonal (h)-BN and amorphous silica (a-SiO2) nanoscopic thin films sandwiched by two crystalline leads. Due to the phonon interference effect, the frequency-dependent phonon transmission coefficient in the case of the crystalline film (Si|h-BN|Al heterostructure) exhibits a strongly oscillatory behavior. In the case of the amorphous film (Si|a-SiO2|Al and Si|a-SiO2|Si heterostructures), in spite of structural disorder, the phonon transmission coefficient also exhibits oscillatory behavior at low frequencies (up to ∼1.2 THz), with a period of oscillation consistent with the prediction from the two-beam interference equation. Above 1.2 THz, however, the phonon interference effect is greatly weakened by the diffuse scattering of higher-frequency phonons within an a-SiO2 thin film and at the two interfaces confining the a-SiO2 thin film.
Z. Liang, T. E. Wilson, P. Keblinski. Phonon interference in crystalline and amorphous confined nanoscopic films. J. Appl. Phys. 121, 075303 (2017). http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.4976563