Thermal Conductivity of III-V Semiconductor Superlattices

By Song Mei1, Zlatan Aksamija2, Irena Knezevic1

1. Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI 2. Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Massachusetts-Amherst, Amherst, MA

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IWCE 2015 presentation.  An InGaAs/InAlAs superlattice (SL) on an InP substrate is the mainstream material system for mid- IR quantum cascade lasers (QCL). The thermal conductivity tensor of SLs is critical for energy-efficient performance of QCLs; understanding the relative importance of different factors that influence heat flow in these systems is essential in device modeling and optimization [1]. It is known that thermal conduction in SLs is extremely anisotropic, with the cross-plane thermal conductivity much lower than the in-plane conductivity. Unfortunately, it is very difficult to experimentally measure the full thermal conductivity tensor, and systematic modeling of SL systems is also missing.

In this work, we calculate the full thermal conductivity tensor in the InGaAs/InAlAs SL system at a specified lattice temperature, considering full phonon dispersions, accurate phonon scattering rates, and the thermal interface resistance caused by both interface roughness and material mismatch.


This work was supported by the NSF award 1201311 (S.M.) and by the DOE award DE- SC0008712 (I.K.).


[1] A. Sood, J. A. Rowlette, C. G. Caneau, E. Bozorg-Grayeli, M. Asheghi, and K. E. Goodson, Thermal conduction in lattice-matched superlattices of InGaAs/InAlAs. Appl. Phys. Lett. 105, 051909 (2014).

Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  • Mei, Song, "Thermal Conductivity of III-V Semiconductor Superlattices," in Computational Electronics (IWCE) 2015 International Workshop on, DOI: Not available in IEEE Xplore digital library. Full Website Here

  • Song Mei; Zlatan Aksamija; Irena Knezevic (2016), "Thermal Conductivity of III-V Semiconductor Superlattices,"

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