Mechanical strain mediated carrier scattering and its role in charge and thermal transport in freestanding nanocrystalline aluminum thin films

Sandeep Kumar, Davil Garcia, Jiezhu Jin, Aman Haque

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

In bulk metals, mechanical strain is known not to influence electrical and thermal transport. However, fundamentally different deformation mechanisms and strain localization at the grain boundaries may influence electron or phonon scattering in nanocrystalline materials. To investigate this hypothesis, the authors developed an experimental approach, where the authors performed thermal and electrical conductivity measurements on 100 nm thick freestanding nanocrystalline aluminum films with average grain size of 50 nm in situ inside a transmission electron microscope (TEM). The authors present experimental evidence of decrease in thermal conductivity and increase in electrical resistivity as a function of uniaxial tensile strain. In-situ TEM observations suggest that grain rotation induced by grain boundary diffusion, and not dislocation-based plasticity, is the dominant deformation mechanism in these thin films. The authors propose that diffusion causes rise in oxygen concentration resulting in increased defects at grain boundaries. Presence of oxygen only at the grain boundaries is confirmed by energy dispersive spectroscopy. Increased defect concentration by mechanical strain at grain boundary causes the change in thermal and charge transport.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number022002
JournalJournal of Vacuum Science and Technology B:Nanotechnology and Microelectronics
Volume33
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Instrumentation
  • Process Chemistry and Technology
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Materials Chemistry

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