Effect of built-in-polarization field on mean free path of phonons in binary nitrides

Sahoo, Sushant Kumar; Swain, Muralidhar ; Sahoo, Bijay Kumar


In this paper, the built-in-polarization field effect on mean free path of acoustic phonons in bulk wurtzite binary nitrides (GaN, AlN) has been theoretically investigated. Due to the modification of elastic constant of the material by the effect of polarization field, there is a corresponding enhancement in group velocity and Debye frequency of phonons. The scattering rate of phonons also affected by this field, as it is a function of velocity or/and Debye frequency. The result shows that polarization field suppresses various scattering rates as well as combined scattering rate of phonons. This implies an increased combined relaxation time of phonons. Hence, the mean free path of phonons increases. Thus, phonons travel freely for a longer distance between two successive scatterings. It is found that, the mean free path of low frequency phonons is longer than that of the high frequency phonons. It indicates that, the low frequency phonons are significantly affected by the built-in-polarization field. This can enhance thermal transport properties of the material, when built-in-polarization field taken into account. It may be a method to control the thermal transport properties of such materials by the application of electric field in a desired way, which can be considered in addressing thermal management issues in nitride based optoelectronic devices to minimize self-heating effects.


Binary nitrides; Built-in-polarization field; Phonon relaxation time; Phonon mean free path

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