Ballistic-diffusive model for heat transport in superlattices and the minimum effective heat conductivity

Federico Vázquez, Péter Ván, Róbert Kovács

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


There has been much interest in semiconductor superlattices because of their low thermal conductivities. This makes them especially suitable for applications in a variety of devices for the thermoelectric generation of energy, heat control at the nanometric length scale, etc. Recent experiments have confirmed that the effective thermal conductivity of superlattices at room temperature have a minimum for very short periods (in the order of nanometers) as some kinetic calculations had anticipated previously. This work will show advances on a thermodynamic theory of heat transport in nanometric 1D multilayer systems by considering the separation of ballistic and diffusive heat fluxes, which are both described by Guyer-Krumhansl constitutive equations. The dispersion relations, as derived from the ballistic and diffusive heat transport equations, are used to derive an effective heat conductivity of the superlattice and to explain the minimum of the effective thermal conductivity.

Original languageEnglish
Article number167
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 1 2020


  • Ballistic-diffusive heat transport
  • Minimum effective thermal conductivity
  • Semiconductor superlattices at room temperature

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

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