Silicon films of thickness near and below one micrometer play a central role in many advanced technologies for computation and energy conversion. Numerous data on the thermal conductivity of silicon thin films are available in the literature, but mainly for the in-plane thermal conductivity of polycrystalline and single-crystal films. Here we use picosecond time-domain thermoreflectance (TDTR), transmission electron microscopy, and phonon transport theory to investigate heat conduction normal to polycrystalline silicon films on diamond substrates. The data agree with predictions that account for the coupled effects of phonon scattering on film boundaries and defects concentrated near grain boundaries. Using the data and the model, we estimate the polysilicon-diamond interface resistance to be 6.5–8 m2 K GW−1.

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