One-dimensional harmonic chain model of vibration-mode matching in solid-liquid interfacial thermal transport

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Understanding the atomistic mechanism of interfacial thermal transport at solid-liquid interfaces is a key challenge in thermal management at the nanoscale. A recent molecular-dynamics study demonstrated that interfacial thermal resistance (ITR) at the interface between a solid and a surfactant solution can be minimized by adjusting the molecular mass of the surfactant. In the present study, we explain the mechanism of this ITR minimization in view of vibration-mode matching using a one-dimensional (1D) harmonic chain model of a solid-liquid interface having an interfacial adsorption layer of surfactant molecules. The equation of motion for the 1D chain is described by a classical Langevin equation and is analytically solved by the nonequilibrium Green's function (NEGF) method. The resultant ITR is expressed in a form of vibrational matching, and its relationship to the overlap of the vibrational density of states is also discussed. The analysis leads to a conclusion that the damping coefficient η in the Langevin equation should be a finite and sufficiently large value to represent the rapid damping of vibration modes at solid-liquid interfaces. This conclusion provides a clue to seamlessly extend the conventional NEGF-phonon transmission picture of solid-solid interfacial thermal transport, which assumes η to be infinitesimal, to solid-liquid interfaces.

Original languageEnglish
Article number024103
JournalPhysical Review E
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2023 Feb

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
  • Statistics and Probability
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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