Vibrational modes and low-temperature thermal properties of graphene and carbon nanotubes: Minimal force-constant model

Research output: Contribution to journalResearch articleContributedpeer-review


  • Janina Zimmermann - , Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, University of Regensburg (Author)
  • Pasquale Pavone - , University of Regensburg (Author)
  • Gianaurelio Cuniberti - , Chair of Materials Science and Nanotechnology, University of Regensburg, Justus Liebig University Giessen, Dresden University of Technology, Austrian Academy of Sciences, Leibniz Institute of Polymer Research Dresden (Author)


We present a phenomenological force-constant model developed for the description of lattice dynamics of sp(2) hybridized carbon networks. Within this model approach, we introduce a set of parameters to calculate the phonon dispersion of graphene by fitting the ab initio dispersion. Vibrational modes of carbon nanotubes are obtained by folding the two-dimensional (2D) dispersion of graphene and applying special corrections for the low-frequency modes. Particular attention is paid to the exact dispersion law of the acoustic modes, which determine the low-frequency thermal properties and reveal quantum size effects in carbon nanotubes. On the basis of the resulting phonon spectra, we calculate the specific heat and the thermal conductance for several achiral nanotubes of different diameters. Through the temperature dependence of the specific heat, we demonstrate that phonon spectra of carbon nanotubes show one-dimensional behavior and that the phonon sub-bands are quantized at low temperatures. Consequently, we prove the quantization of the phonon thermal conductance by means of an analysis based on the Landauer theory of heat transport.


Original languageEnglish
Article number045410
Number of pages13
JournalPhysical Review B
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2008

External IDs

Scopus 47349130603



  • Surface phonon-dispersion, Raman-scattering, Lattice-dynamics, Conductance, Graphite, Quantum, Heat, Conductivity, Wires