Thermal Rectification in Nanostructured Boundaries and Interfaces
Roberts, Nicholas Adam
Thermal rectification is a phenomenon in which thermal transport along a specific axis is dependent upon the sign of the temperature gradient or heat current. The need for thermally rectifying materials and devices is becoming increasingly important for the improved thermal management of micro and nano electronic devices due to the continued decreases in device sizes, new design technologies such as 3D stacking of components and smaller form factors. Thermally rectifying materials will allow for more efficient heat removal with greater thermal control since they are phonon engineered. These properties of thermal rectifiers allow the flow of heat to travel along a path of higher conductivity from the power circuits of heat generating areas to an area where the heat can be removed while at the same time providing protection to temperature and heat flux sensitive components by exhibiting insulating behavior in those directions. In this document, we investigate thermal rectification in micro and nanoscale systems with nanostructured interfaces of different types and nanostructured boundaries, how they produce thermal rectification and how we can exploit these features to create materials and devices with high levels of thermal rectification.