High and low thermal conductivity of amorphous macromolecules

Xu Xie, Kexin Yang, Dongyao Li, Tsung Han Tsai, Jungwoo Shin, Paul V. Braun, David G. Cahill

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We measure the thermal conductivity, heat capacity and sound velocity of thin films of five polymers, nine polymer salts, and four caged molecules to advance the fundamental understanding of the lower and upper limits to heat conduction in amorphous macromolecules. The thermal conductivities vary by more than one order of magnitude, from 0.06Wm-1K-1 for [6,6]-phenyl-C71-butyric acid methyl ester to 0.67Wm-1K-1 for poly(vinylphosphonic acid calcium salt). Minimum thermal conductivity calculated from the measured sound velocity and effective atomic density is in good agreement with the thermal conductivity of macromolecules with various molecular structures and intermolecular bonding strength.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number035406
JournalPhysical Review B
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 9 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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