Although thermal transport in silicon is dominated by phonons in the solid state, electrons also participate as the system approaches, and exceeds, its melting point. Thus, the contribution from both phonons and electrons must be considered in any model for the thermal conductivity, k, of silicon near the melting point. In this paper, equilibrium molecular dynamics simulations measure the vibration mediated thermal conductivity in Stillinger-Weber silicon at temperatures ranging from 1400 to 2000 K — encompassing the solid-liquid phase transition. Non-equilibrium molecular dynamics is also employed as a confirmatory study. The electron contribution may then be estimated by comparing these results to experimental measurements of k. The resulting relationship may provide a guide for the modeling of heat transport under conditions realized in high temperature applications, such as laser irradiation or rapid thermal processing of silicon substrates.

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