Thermal rectification at silicon/horizontally aligned carbon nanotube interfaces

XL Zhang and M Hu and DW Tang, JOURNAL OF APPLIED PHYSICS, 113, 194307 (2013).

DOI: 10.1063/1.4804071

Non-equilibrium molecular dynamics simulations were performed to investigate the thermal rectification effect of a system composed of a 400 nm long horizontally aligned single-walled (10, 10) carbon nanotube (CNT) and Si substrate. By imposing a series of positive and negative heat currents across the interface, a thermal rectification effect was observed. The maximum thermal rectification is about 184% when the interfacial heat flux is 60 W/m, which is very promising for thermal rectifier applications. By phonon-related analysis, we found that for heat flowing from Si to CNT, the increase of the interfacial thermal conductance with heat flux is due to the better match of phonon density of states between CNT and Si substrate at broad moderate frequencies, while for heat flowing from CNT to Si, the low-frequency phonon modes excited at large heat fluxes dominate the interfacial heat transfer and such low-frequency phonon mode mechanism is responsible for the thermal rectification effect. Moreover, we proposed a simple yet very useful method to quantify the directional contributions of lattice vibrations to the total interfacial heat flux and we demonstrated that the out-of- plane lattice vibrations at the interface dominate the heat transfer across the silicon/horizontally aligned carbon nanotube interfaces. (C) 2013 AIP Publishing LLC.

Return to Publications page