This paper reports, for the first time, the cross-plane thermal conductivity of amorphous and crystalline templated cubic mesoporous titania thin films from 30 to 320 K. Both sol-gel and nanocrystal-based films were synthesized by evaporation-induced self-assembly with porosity of 30% to 35%, respectively. The pore diameter in sol-gel mesoporous films ranged from 14 to 25 nm and film thickness from 120 to 370 nm. Crystalline domains in crystalline mesoporous films were 9 to 13 nm in diameter. The thermal conductivity was measured between 30 and 320 K using the 3ω method. The experimental setup and the associated analysis were first validated by comparing experimental measurements with data reported in the literature for high purity silicon substrate and thermal oxide films over the temperature range considered. The thermal conductivity of sol-gel dense and mesoporous TiO2 films was found to increase with increasing temperature. The thermal conductivity of polycrystalline dense film was strongly dependent on temperature while that of dense amorphous and mesoporous films increased slowly with increasing temperature. The amorphous mesoporous TiO2 films featured very small thermal conductivity due to the fact that heat was mainly transferred by very localized non-propagating vibrational modes. Despite the particles crystallinity, the nanocrystal-based film showed significantly lower thermal conductivity than that of the sol-gel polycrystalline mesoporous thin films due to the strong phonon scattering at the nanocrystal boundaries.

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