Tunable thermal rectification in graphene nanoribbons through defect engineering: A molecular dynamics study

Y Wang and SY Chen and XL Ruan, APPLIED PHYSICS LETTERS, 100, 163101 (2012).

DOI: 10.1063/1.3703756

Using non-equilibrium molecular dynamics, we show that asymmetrically defected graphene nanoribbons (GNR) are promising thermal rectifiers. The optimum conditions for thermal rectification (TR) include low temperature, high temperature bias, similar to 1% concentration of single-vacancy or substitutional silicon defects, and a moderate partition of the pristine and defected regions. TR ratio of similar to 80% is found in a 14-nm long and 4-nm wide GNR at a temperature of 200 K and bias of 90 K, where heat conduction is in the ballistic regime since the bulk effective phonon mean-free-path is around 775 nm. As the GNR length increases towards the diffusive regime, the TR ratio decreases and eventually stabilizes at a length-independent value of about 3%-5%. This work extends defect engineering to 2D materials for achieving TR. (C) 2012 American Institute of Physics. http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.3703756

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