Dimensional dependence of phonon transport in freestanding atomic layer systems
Due to the fast development of nanotechnology, we have the capability of manipulating atomic layer systems such as graphene, hexagonal boron nitride and dichalcogenides. The major concern in the 2-dimensional nanostructures is how to preserve their exceptional single-layer properties in 3-dimensional bulk structures. In this study, we report that the extreme phonon transport in graphene is highly affected by the graphitic layer stacking based on experimental investigation of the thermal conduction in few-layer graphene, 1–7 layers thick, suspended over holes of various diameters. We fabricate freestanding axisymmetric graphene structures without any perturbing substrate, and measure the in-plane transport property in terms of thermal conduction by using Raman spectroscopy. From the difference in susceptibility to substrate effect, size effect on hot-spot temperature variation and layer number dependence of thermal conductivity, we show that the graphitic membranes with 2 or more layers have characteristics similar to 3-dimensional graphite, which are very different from those of 2-dimensional graphene membranes. This implies that the scattering of out-of-plane phonons by interlayer atomic coupling could be a key mechanism governing the intrinsic thermal property.