June 23, 2015

Can Heat Be Controlled as Waves?

(June 23, 2015)  A growing interest in thermoelectric materials – which convert waste heat to electricity – and pressure to improve heat transfer from increasingly powerful microelectronic devices have led to improved theoretical and experimental understanding of how heat is transported through nanometer-scale materials.

Recent research has focused on the possibility of using interference effects in phonon waves to control heat transport in materials. Wave interference is already used to control electronic, photonic and acoustic devices. If a similar approach can be used in thermal transport, that could facilitate development of more efficient thermoelectric and nanoelectronic devices, improved thermal barrier coatings, and new materials with ultralow thermal conductivity.

journal reference >>