Origin of the plateau in the low-temperature thermal conductivity of silica

Raychaudhuri , Arup K. (1989) Origin of the plateau in the low-temperature thermal conductivity of silica Physical Review B: Condensed Matter and Materials Physics, 39 (3). pp. 1927-1931. ISSN 0163-1829

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Official URL: http://prb.aps.org/abstract/PRB/v39/i3/p1927_1

Related URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevB.39.1927


Thermal conductivities of glasses at low temperatures show strikingly similar behavior irrespective of their chemical composition. While for T<1 K the thermal conductivity can be understood in the phenomenological tunneling model; the "universal plateau" in the temperature interval 15>T>2 K is totally unexplained. While Rayleigh scattering of phonons by structural disorder should be the natural cause for limiting the mean free path of phonons in this temperature range, it has been concluded before that in glasses a strong enough source of such scattering does not exist. In this study we show by a proper structural analysis in at least one material (namely, silica) that a strong enough source of Rayleigh scattering of phonons in glasses does exist so that the "universal plateau" can be explained without invoking any new mechanism. This may be for the first time that the low-temperature property of a structural glass has been correlated to its structure.

Item Type:Article
Source:Copyright of this article belongs to The American Physical Society.
ID Code:42661
Deposited On:04 Jun 2011 13:47
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