We predict theoretically that the effective in-plane thermal conductivity of crystalline and amorphous thin films can be increased by surface phonon-polaritons significantly beyond their intrinsic bulk values. We show that the thermal conductivity due to surface phonon-polaritons increases with decreasing film thickness. In particular, for a 40 nm thick film of amorphous silicon dioxide, we calculate a total thermal conductivity of 4 W m−1 K−1 at 500 K, which is an increase of ~100% over the intrinsic phonon thermal conductivity.

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