Thermal Boundary Conductance: A Materials Science Perspective
The thermal boundary conductance (TBC) of materials pairs in atomically intimate contact is reviewed as a practical guide for materials scientists. First, analytical and computational models of TBC are reviewed. Five measurement methods are then compared in terms of their sensitivity to TBC: the 3 omega method, frequency- and time-domain thermoreflectance, the cut-bar method, and a composite effective thermal conductivity method. The heart of the review surveys 30 years of TBC measurements around room temperature, highlighting the materials science factors experimentally proven to influence TBC. These factors include the bulk dispersion relations, acoustic contrast, and interfacial chemistry and bonding. The measured TBCs are compared across a wide range of materials systems by using the maximum transmission limit, which with an attenuated transmission coefficient proves to be a good guideline for most clean, strongly bonded interfaces. Finally, opportunities for future research are discussed.