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Phonons, i.e., quanta of lattice vibrations, manifest themselves practically in all electrical, thermal and optical phenomena in semiconductors and other material systems. Reduction of the size of electronic devices below the acoustic phonon mean free path creates a new situation for phonon propagation and interaction. From one side, it complicates heat removal from the downscaled devices. From the other side, it opens up an exciting opportunity for engineering phonon spectrum in nanostructured materials and achieving enhanced operation of nanodevices. This paper reviews the development of the phonon engineering concept and discusses its device applications. The review focuses on methods of tuning the phonon spectrum in acoustically mismatched nano- and heterostructures in order to change the phonon thermal conductivity and electron mobility. New approaches for the electron–phonon scattering rates suppression, formation of the phonon stop-bands and phonon focusing are also discussed. The last section addresses the phonon engineering issues in biological and hybrid bio-inorganic nanostructures.
Journal for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (JNN) is an international and multidisciplinary peer-reviewed journal with a wide-ranging coverage, consolidating research activities in all areas of nanoscience and nanotechnology into a single and unique reference source. JNN is the first cross-disciplinary journal to publish original full research articles, rapid communications of important new scientific and technological findings, timely state-of-the-art reviews with author's photo and short biography, and current research news encompassing the fundamental and applied research in all disciplines of science, engineering and medicine.