Due to the high intrinsic thermal conductivity of carbon allotropes, there have been many attempts to incorporate such structures into existing thermal abatement technologies. In particular, carbon nanotubes (CNTs) and graphitic materials (i.e., graphite and graphene flakes or stacks) have garnered much interest due to the combination of both their thermal and mechanical properties. However, the introduction of these carbon-based nanostructures into thermal abatement technologies greatly increases the number of interfaces per unit length within the resulting composite systems. Consequently, thermal transport in these systems is governed as much by the interfaces between the constituent materials as it is by the materials themselves. This paper reports the behavior of phononic thermal transport across interfaces between isotropic thin films and graphite substrates. Elastic and inelastic diffusive transport models are formulated to aid in the prediction of conductance at a metal-graphite interface. The temperature dependence of the thermal conductance at Au-graphite interfaces is measured via transient thermoreflectance from 78 to 400 K. It is found that different substrate surface preparations prior to thin film deposition have a significant effect on the conductance of the interface between film and substrate.

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