Phonons – quanta of crystal lattice vibrations – reveal themselves in all electrical, thermal, and optical phenomena in materials. Nanostructures open exciting opportunities for tuning the phonon energy spectrum and related material properties for specific applications. The possibilities for controlled modification of the phonon interactions and transport – referred to as phonon engineering or phononics – increased even further with the advent of graphene and two-dimensional van der Waals materials. We describe methods for tuning the phonon spectrum and engineering the thermal properties of the low-dimensional materials via ribbon edges, grain boundaries, isotope composition, defect concentration, and atomic-plane orientation.

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DOI: 10.1016/S1369-7021(12)70117-7