As the periodic atomic arrangement of a crystal is made to a disorder or glassy-amorphous system by destroying the long-range order, lattice thermal conductivity, κL, decreases, and its fundamental characteristics changes. The realization of ultralow and unusual glass-like κL in a crystalline material is challenging but crucial to many applications like thermoelectrics and thermal barrier coatings. Herein, we demonstrate an ultralow (~0.20 W/m·K at room temperature) and glass-like temperature dependence (2–400 K) of κL in a single crystal of layered halide perovskite, Cs3Bi2I6Cl3. Acoustic phonons with low cut-off frequency (20 cm−1) are responsible for the low sound velocity in Cs3Bi2I6Cl3 and make the structure elastically soft. While a strong anharmonicity originates from the low energy and localized rattling-like vibration of Cs atoms, synchrotron X-ray pair-distribution function evidence a local structural distortion in the Bi-halide octahedra and Cl vacancy. The hierarchical chemical bonding and soft vibrations from selective sublattice leading to low κL is intriguing from lattice dynamical perspective as well as have potential applications.
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