Determining Phonon Mean Free Paths from Observations of Quasiballistic Thermal Transport

A. J. Minnich
Phys. Rev. Lett. 109, 205901 – Published 13 November 2012


The mean free paths (MFPs) of thermal phonons are mostly unknown in many solids. Recent work indicates that MFPs may be measured using experimental observations of quasiballistic thermal transport, but the precise relationship between the measurements and the MFP distribution remains unclear. Here, we present a method that can accurately reconstruct the MFP distribution from quasiballistic thermal measurements without any assumptions regarding the phonon scattering mechanisms. Our result will enable a substantially improved understanding of thermal transport in many solids, particularly thermoelectrics.

  • Figure
  • Figure
  • Figure
  • Received 6 August 2012


© 2012 American Physical Society

Authors & Affiliations

A. J. Minnich*

  • Division of Engineering and Applied Science, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, California 91125, USA

  • *

Article Text (Subscription Required)

Click to Expand

References (Subscription Required)

Click to Expand

Vol. 109, Iss. 20 — 16 November 2012

Reuse & Permissions
Access Options
Heating up of Superconductors
January 27, 2017

This collection marks the 30th anniversary of the discovery of high-temperature superconductors. The papers selected highlight some of the advances that have been made to date, both in understanding why these compounds behave in the way they do, and in utilizing them in applications. The papers included in the collection have been made free to read.

Authorization Required




Sign up to receive regular email alerts from Physical Review Letters

Log In



Article Lookup

Paste a citation or DOI

Enter a citation