Heat transport in phonetic metalattices

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This work exemplifies interdisciplinary work that combines pioneering synthetic methods to organize materials in new ways at the nanoscale and exploit this new structure to achieve novel physical properties, in this case control over heat transport, and potentially thermal diodes: a material that transports heat selectively i.e. better in one direction than another under certain physical conditions.

W. Chen, D. Talreja, D. Eichfeld, P. Mahale, N. Nova, H. Cheng, J. Russell, S. Yu, N. Poilvert, G. Mahan, S. Mohney, V. Crespi, T. Mallouk, J. Badding, B. Foley, V. Gopalan, I. Dabo.


Adding nanoscale inclusions into silicon can be used to tailor its thermal conductivity. At the boundary between the wave-like (Rayleigh) and particle-like (Casimir) regimes for phonon transport, a thermal conductivity minimum is hypothesized. Using silicon metalattices with varying silica nanosphere size, a MRSEC research team was able to experimentally demonstrate this minimum through time-domain thermoreflectance measurements and quantitatively describe it with a Casimir-based ballistic theory for heat transport. This result opens up the potential to engineer thermal diodes from these novel nanoscale materials.

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IRG3 - Metalattices