We studied the cross-plane lattice and electronic thermal conductivities of superlattices made of InGaAlAs and InGaAs films, with the latter containing embedded ErAs nanoparticles (denoted as ErAs:InGaAs). Measurements of total thermal conductivity at four doping levels and a theoretical analysis were used to estimate the cross-plane electronic thermal conductivity of the superlattices. The results show that the lattice and electronic thermal conductivities have marginal dependence on doping levels. This suggests that there is lateral conservation of electronic momentum during thermionic emission in the superlattices, which limits the fraction of available electrons for thermionic emission, thereby affecting the performance of thermoelectric devices. (c) 2006 American Institute of Physics.