Assessing phonon coherence using spectroscopy

As a fundamental physical quantity of thermal phonons, temporal coherence participates in a broad range of thermal and phononic processes, while a clear methodology for the measurement of phonon coherence is still lacking. In this paper, we derive a theoretical model for the experimental exploration of phonon coherence based on spectroscopy, which is then validated by comparing Brillouin light scattering data and direct molecular dynamic simulations of confined modes in nanostructures. The proposed model highlights that confined modes exhibit a pronounced wavelike behavior characterized by a higher ratio of coherence time to lifetime. The dependence of phonon coherence on system size is also demonstrated from the spectroscopy data. The proposed theory allows for reassessing the data of conventional spectroscopy to yield coherence times, which are essential for the understanding and the estimation of phonon characteristics and heat transport in solids in general.

Z. Zhang, Y. Guo, M. Bescond, M. Nomura, S. Volz, and J. Chen, “Assessing phonon coherence using spectroscopy”, Phys. Rev. B 107, 155426 (2023)