Uma, S., McConnell, A.D., Asheghi, M., Kurabayashi, K., and Goodson, K.E., 2001, “Temperature Dependent Thermal Conductivity of Undoped Polycrystalline Silicon Layers,” International Journal of Thermophysics, Vol. 22, pp. 605-616.
Polycrystalline silicon is used in microelectronic and microelectromechanical devices for which thermal design is important. This work measures the in-plane thermal conductivities of free-standing undoped polycrystalline layers between 20 and 300 K. The layers have a thickness of 1 micrometer, and the measurements are performed using steady-state Joule heating and electrical-resistance thermometry in patterned aluminum microbridges. The layer thermal conductivities are found to depend strongly on the details of the deposition process through the grain size distribution, which is investigated using atomic force microscopy and transmission electron microscopy. The room-temperature thermal conductivity of as-grown polycrystalline silicon is found to be 13.8W/mK and that of amorphous recrystallized polycrystalline silicon is 22 W/mK, which is almost an order of magnitude less than that of single-crystal silicon. The maximum thermal conductivities of both samples occur at higher temperatures than in pure single-crystalline silicon layers of the same thickness. The data are interpreted using the approximate solution to the Boltzmann transport equation in the relaxation time approximation together with Matthiessen's rule. These measurements contribute to the understanding of the relative importance of phonon scattering on grain and layer boundaries in polysilicon films and provide data relevant for the design of micromachined structures.