A sub-micron thermal transport model based on the phonon Boltzmann transport equation (BTE) is developed using anisotropic relaxation times. A previously-published model, the full-scattering model, developed by Wang, directly computes three-phonon scattering interactions by enforcing energy and momentum conservation. However, it is computationally very expensive because it requires the evaluation of millions of scattering interactions during the iterative numerical solution procedure. The anisotropic relaxation time phonon BTE model employs a single-mode relaxation time idea, but the relaxation time is a function of wave-vector. The resulting model is significantly less expensive than the full-scattering model, but incorporates directional and dispersion behavior as well as relaxation times satisfying conservation rules. A critical issue in the model development is the accounting for the role of three-phonon N scattering processes. Direct inclusion of N processes into the anisotropic relaxation time model is not possible because such an inclusion would engender thermal resistance. Following Callaway, the overall relaxation rate is modified to include the shift in the phonon distribution function due to N processes. The relaxation times so obtained are compared with the data extracted from equilibrium molecular dynamics simulation by Henry and Chen. The anisotropic relaxation time phonon BTE model is validated by comparing the predicted bulk thermal conductivities of silicon and silicon thin-film thermal conductivities with experimental measurements.

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