Nonequilibrium Green's function approach to phonon transport in defective carbon nanotubes

Phys Rev Lett. 2006 Jun 30;96(25):255503. doi: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.96.255503. Epub 2006 Jun 30.


We have developed a new theoretical formalism for phonon transport in nanostructures using the nonequilibrium phonon Green's function technique and have applied it to thermal conduction in defective carbon nanotubes. The universal quantization of low-temperature thermal conductance in carbon nanotubes can be observed even in the presence of local structural defects such as vacancies and Stone-Wales defects, since the long wavelength acoustic phonons are not scattered by local defects. At room temperature, however, thermal conductance is critically affected by defect scattering since incident phonons are scattered by localized phonons around the defects. We find a remarkable change from quantum to classical features for the thermal transport through defective carbon nanotubes with increasing temperature.