Thin films composed of dielectric materials are attracting growing interest in the solid state physics and nanoscale heat transfer communities. This is primarily due to their unique thermal and electronic properties and their extensive use as components in optoelectronic, and potentially in thermoelectric, devices. In this paper, an elaborate study is presented on silicon thin films ranging from a few nanometers in thickness to very thick bulk-like thicknesses. Full lattice dynamics calculations are performed incorporating the entire film cross section and the relaxation of the free surfaces. The phonon properties emerging from these calculations are then incorporated into Holland-Callaway models to predict the thermal conductivity and other phonon transport properties. A rigorous curve fitting process to a limited set of available experimental data is carried out to obtain the scattering lifetimes. Our results demonstrate the importance of proper consideration of the full thin-film dispersion description and provide insights into the relationship between thermal conductivity, film thickness and temperature.

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