P2N group reports changes in phonon propagation in ultra-thin silicon membranes

Using a technique known as angle-resolved Brillouin scattering spectroscopy, the researchers were able to clock the speed at which confined phonons propagate through free-standing silicon membranes from 400 nm down to 7.8 nm thick. In this non-destructive technique, laser light of a known frequency is applied to the membrane surface; this light is then scattered from the natural vibrations or phonons moving through the sample, with a minute change in frequency. By measuring this tiny change in frequency, and associating it with the correct direction of scattering, the velocity of the phonons can be determined.

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