Thermal rectification at the bimaterial nanocontact interface

ZQ Ye and BY Cao, NANOSCALE, 9, 11480-11487 (2017).

DOI: 10.1039/c7nr02696j

Thermal rectification can help develop modern thermal manipulation devices but has been rarely engineered. Here, we validated the nanoscale bimaterial interface-induced thermal rectification experimentally for the first time and investigated its underlying mechanism via molecular dynamics simulations. The thermal diode consists of polyamide (PA) and silicon (Si) nanowires in contact with each other. The thermal rectification ratio measured by a high-precision nanoscale experiment reached 4% with an uncertainty of < 1%. The temperature has little influence on the ratio, while the decrease in contact length or increase in temperature differences can increase the ratio. The molecular dynamics simulations further confirmed the thermal rectification in the PA/Si nanowires. We found that the localized modes generally gather on the edge, and the higher extent of phonon localization is responsible for the lower thermal conductance in the thermal rectification. Our findings not only have guiding significance, but can also promote the development of interface-based solid-state thermal diodes.

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