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Thermal Conductivity Enhancement in Ion-Irradiated Hydrogenated Amorphous Carbon Films

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journal contribution
posted on 22.04.2021, 19:52 by Ethan A. Scott, Sean W. King, Nanette N. Jarenwattananon, William A. Lanford, Han Li, James Rhodes, Patrick E. Hopkins
Amorphous solids are traditionally assumed to set the lower bound to the vibrational thermal conductivity of a material due to the high degree of structural disorder. Here, were demonstrate the ability to increase the thermal conductivity of amorphous solids through ion irradiation, in turn, altering the bonding network configuration. We report on the thermal conductivity of hydrogenated amorphous carbon implanted with C+ ions spanning fluences of 3 × 1014–8.6 × 1014 cm–2 and energies of 10–20 keV. Time-domain thermoreflectance measurements of the films’ thermal conductivities reveal significant enhancement, up to a factor of 3, depending upon the preirradiation composition. Films with higher initial hydrogen content provide the greatest increase, which is complemented by an increased stiffening and densification from the irradiation process. This enhancement in vibrational transport is unique when contrasted to crystalline materials, for which ion implantation is known to produce structural degradation and significantly reduced thermal conductivities.