Phonon-fracton anharmonic interactions: The thermal conductivity of amorphous materials

S. Alexander, Ora Entin-Wohlman, R. Orbach

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

151 Scopus citations


The anharmonic interaction (third-order elastic Hamiltonian) between fractons (short-length-scale vibrational excitations) and phonons (long-length-scale vibrational excitations) is introduced. The relationship between phonon-fracton scattering rates and the thermal conductivity is developed. Two relevant anharmonic lifetimes are calculated: two phonons combining into a single fracton, and one phonon combining with a fracton to produce a fracton. The former is important to the behavior of in the plateau regime; the latter to at temperatures above the plateau regime. The latter is interpreted in terms of phonon-assisted fracton hopping, and gives rise to an extra heat conductance which increases linearly in the temperature T. This behavior appears to be in agreement with recent high-temperature measurements of in epoxy resin by de Oliveira and Rosenberg.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2726-2734
Number of pages9
JournalPhysical Review B
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Jan 1986
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics


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