The development of a nanoscale thermal switch is a crucial step toward advanced thermal management systems including future thermal logic gates and computers. This study demonstrates a new nanoscale thermal switch mechanism using controlled, morphological transition from adsorption to capillary state in a novel gas-filled nanostructure, i.e., a nanogap with controllable nanoposts on one surface only. The degree of thermal switch, S, at given gas pressures are predicted using Ar-filled Pt-based nanostructures and Non-Equilibrium Molecular Dynamics (NEMD) simulation combined with Grand Canonical Monte Carlo (GCMC) simulation. It is found that S increases by increasing the height of the nanoposts and temperature difference across the nanostructure, and decreasing the interpost spacings, with the maximum degree of switch, S max ∼ 45 and ∼ 170 for ΔT = 10 K and 60 K, respectively, for the nanogap size of 5 nm. It is also observed that a stronger solid-fluid surface interaction results in a wider switch operating temperature window.
Avanessian, T., & Hwang, G. (2018). Thermal switch using controlled capillary transition in heterogeneous nanostructures. International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer, 121, 127–136. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijheatmasstransfer.2017.12.142