Role of Remote Interfacial Phonon (RIP) Scattering in Heat Transport Across Graphene/SiO2 Interfaces

Yee Kan Koh, Austin S. Lyons, Myung Ho Bae, Bin Huang, Vincent E. Dorgan, David G. Cahill, Eric Pop

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Heat transfer across interfaces of graphene and polar dielectrics (e.g., SiO2) could be mediated by direct phonon coupling, as well as electronic coupling with remote interfacial phonons (RIPs). To understand the relative contribution of each component, we develop a new pump-probe technique called voltage-modulated thermoreflectance (VMTR) to accurately measure the change of interfacial thermal conductance under an electrostatic field. We employed VMTR on top gates of graphene field-effect transistors and find that the thermal conductance of SiO2/graphene/SiO2 interfaces increases by up to G ∼ 0.8 MW m-2 K-1 under electrostatic fields of <0.2 V nm-1. We propose two possible explanations for the small observed G. First, because the applied electrostatic field induces charge carriers in graphene, our VMTR measurements could originate from heat transfer between the charge carriers in graphene and RIPs in SiO2. Second, the increase in heat conduction could be caused by better conformity of graphene interfaces under electrostatic pressure exerted by the induced charge carriers. Regardless of the origins of the observed G our VMTR measurements establish an upper limit for heat transfer from unbiased graphene to SiO2 substrates via RIP scattering; for example, only <2% of the interfacial heat transport is facilitated by RIP scattering even at a carrier concentration of ∼4 × 1012 cm-2.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6014-6020
Number of pages7
JournalNano letters
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 12 2016


  • Remote interfacial phonon (RIP) scattering
  • electrostatic control of heat conduction
  • electrostatic pressure
  • graphene interfaces
  • interfaces of 2D materials
  • interfacial thermal conductance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • General Chemistry
  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanical Engineering


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