Heat transfer across metal-dielectric interfaces involves transport of electrons and phonons accomplished either by coupling between phonons in metal and dielectric or by coupling between electrons in metal and phonons in dielectric. In this work, we investigate heat transfer across metal-dielectric interfaces during ultrafast-laser heating of thin metal films coated on dielectric substrates. By employing ultrafast-laser heating that creates strong thermal nonequilibrium between electrons and phonons in metal, it is possible to isolate the effect of the direct electron–phonon coupling across the interface and thus facilitate its study. Transient thermo-reflectance measurements using femtosecond laser pulses are performed on Au–Si samples while the simulation results based on a two-temperature model are compared with the measured data. A contact resistance between electrons in Au and phonons in Si represents the coupling strength of the direct electron–phonon interactions at the interface. Our results reveal that this contact resistance can be sufficiently small to indicate strong direct coupling between electrons in metal and phonons in dielectric.

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