Special Issue "Thermal Transport in Nanostructures and Nanomaterials"

A special issue of Nanomaterials (ISSN 2079-4991).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 25 December 2020.

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Alberto Fina
Website
Guest Editor
Politecnico di Torino, Dipartimento di Scienza Applicata e Tecnologia, Torino, Italy
Interests: polymer nanocomposites; thermally conductive materials; graphene and related materials; flame retardancy of polymers; thermochemical storage

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

“Thermal Transport in Nanostructures and Nanomaterials” is currently focusing significant research efforts in different research communities, including material scientists, condensed matter physicists, and computational modelers. Different target applications are currently being investigated, including nanocomposites and other nanostructures with enhanced thermal conductivity, extremely low thermal conductivity aerogels, thermoelectric materials, and phononic materials. Challenges in the control and design of thermally-efficient nanomaterials mostly relate to the properties of interfaces between nano-objects, as well as between nano-objects and the continuous phase. The study of phenomena associated to heat transfer across interfaces in nanomaterials, as well as the engineering of interfaces to obtain nanomaterials with superior thermal properties, are currently fascinating yet challenging research topics, which are expected to soon merge into a unique multidisciplinary research domain.

This Special Issue of Nanomaterials will attempt to cover the most recent advances in “Thermal Transport in Nanostructures and Nanomaterials”, concerning their design, manufacturing, characterization and computational modelling, as well as exploitation in devices.

Prof. Dr. Alberto Fina
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Nanomaterials is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Thermal transport in nanostructures and nanomaterials
  • Thermal conductivity
  • Thermal interfaces
  • Nanoscale heat transfer
  • Nanocomposites
  • Nanophononics
  • Phononic materials
  • Molecular junctions
  • Thermoelectric materials
  • Low thermal conductivity aerogels

Published Papers (8 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Enhancement of Thermal Boundary Conductance of Metal–Polymer System
Nanomaterials 2020, 10(4), 670; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano10040670 - 02 Apr 2020
Abstract
In organic electronics, thermal management is a challenge, as most organic materials conduct heat poorly. As these devices become smaller, thermal transport is increasingly limited by organic–inorganic interfaces, for example that between a metal and a polymer. However, the mechanisms of heat transport [...] Read more.
In organic electronics, thermal management is a challenge, as most organic materials conduct heat poorly. As these devices become smaller, thermal transport is increasingly limited by organic–inorganic interfaces, for example that between a metal and a polymer. However, the mechanisms of heat transport at these interfaces are not well understood. In this work, we compare three types of metal–polymer interfaces. Polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) films of different thicknesses (1–15 nm) were spin-coated on silicon substrates and covered with an 80 nm gold film either directly, or over an interface layer of 2 nm of an adhesion promoting metal—either titanium or nickel. We use the frequency-domain thermoreflectance (FDTR) technique to measure the effective thermal conductivity of the polymer film and then extract the metal–polymer thermal boundary conductance (TBC) with a thermal resistance circuit model. We found that the titanium layer increased the TBC by a factor of 2, from 59 × 106 W·m−2·K−1 to 115 × 106 W·m−2·K−1, while the nickel layer increased TBC to 139 × 106 W·m−2·K−1. These results shed light on possible strategies to improve heat transport in organic electronic systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Thermal Transport in Nanostructures and Nanomaterials)
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Open AccessArticle
Thermal Transport in a 2D Nanophononic Solid: Role of bi-Phasic Materials Properties on Acoustic Attenuation and Thermal Diffusivity
Nanomaterials 2019, 9(10), 1471; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano9101471 - 16 Oct 2019
Abstract
Nanophononic materials have recently arisen as a promising way for controlling heat transport, mirroring the results in macroscopic phononic materials for sound transmission, filtering and attenuation applications. Here we present a Finite Element numerical simulation of the transient propagation of an acoustic Wave-Packet [...] Read more.
Nanophononic materials have recently arisen as a promising way for controlling heat transport, mirroring the results in macroscopic phononic materials for sound transmission, filtering and attenuation applications. Here we present a Finite Element numerical simulation of the transient propagation of an acoustic Wave-Packet in a 2D nanophononic material, which allows to identify the effect of the nanostructuration on the acoustic attenuation length and thus on the transport regime for the vibrational energy. Assuming elastic behavior in the matrix and in the inclusions, we find that the rigidity contrast between them not only tunes the apparent attenuation length of the wave packet along its main trajectory, but gives rise to different behaviours, from weak to strong scattering, and waves pinning. As a consequence, different energy transport regimes can be identified in the three-parameter space of the excitation frequency, inclusions size and rigidity contrast, leading to the identification of a combination of parameters allowing for the shortest attenuation distance. These results could have applications both in the field of acoustic insulation, and for the control of heat transfer. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Thermal Transport in Nanostructures and Nanomaterials)
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Open AccessArticle
Thermal Conductivity of Metal-Coated Tri-Walled Carbon Nanotubes in the Presence of Vacancies-Molecular Dynamics Simulations
Nanomaterials 2019, 9(6), 809; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano9060809 - 28 May 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
Variation in the thermal conductivity of a metal-coated tri-walled carbon nanotube (3WCNT), in the presence of vacancies, was studied using non-equilibrium molecular dynamics simulations. A Two-Temperature model was used to account for electronic contribution to heat transfer. For 3WCNT with 0.5% and 1% [...] Read more.
Variation in the thermal conductivity of a metal-coated tri-walled carbon nanotube (3WCNT), in the presence of vacancies, was studied using non-equilibrium molecular dynamics simulations. A Two-Temperature model was used to account for electronic contribution to heat transfer. For 3WCNT with 0.5% and 1% random vacancies, there was 76%, and 86% decrease in the thermal conductivity, respectively. In that order, an overall ~66% and ~140% increase in the thermal conductivity was recorded when 3 nm thick coating of metal (nickel) was deposited around the defective models. We have also explored the effects of tube specific and random vacancies on thermal conductivity of the 3WCNT. The changes in thermal conductivity have also been justified by the changes in vibrational density of states of the 3WCNT and the individual tubes. The results obtained can prove to be useful for countering the detrimental effects of vacancies in carbon nanotubes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Thermal Transport in Nanostructures and Nanomaterials)
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Open AccessArticle
Modification of the Raman Spectra in Graphene-Based Nanofluids and Its Correlation with Thermal Properties
Nanomaterials 2019, 9(5), 804; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano9050804 - 26 May 2019
Cited by 5
Abstract
It is well known that by dispersing nanoparticles in a fluid, the thermal conductivity of the resulting nanofluid tends to increase with the concentration of nanoparticles. However, it is not clear what the mechanism behind this phenomenon is. Raman spectroscopy is a characterization [...] Read more.
It is well known that by dispersing nanoparticles in a fluid, the thermal conductivity of the resulting nanofluid tends to increase with the concentration of nanoparticles. However, it is not clear what the mechanism behind this phenomenon is. Raman spectroscopy is a characterization technique connecting the molecular and macroscopic world, and therefore, it can unravel the puzzling effect exerted by the nanomaterial on the fluid. In this work, we report on a comparative study on the thermal conductivity, vibrational spectra and viscosity of graphene nanofluids based on three different amides: N, N-dimethylacetamide (DMAc); N, N-dimethylformamide (DMF); and N-methyl-2-pyrrolidinone (NMP). A set of concentrations of highly stable surfactant-free graphene nanofluids developed in-house was prepared and characterized. A correlation between the modification of the vibrational spectra of the fluids and an increase in their thermal conductivity in the presence of graphene was confirmed. Furthermore, an explanation of the non-modification of the thermal conductivity in graphene-NMP nanofluids is given based on its structure and a peculiar arrangement of the fluid. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Thermal Transport in Nanostructures and Nanomaterials)
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Open AccessArticle
Applying Aluminum–Vertically-Aligned Carbon Nanotube Forests Composites for Heat Dissipation
Nanomaterials 2019, 9(5), 758; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano9050758 - 17 May 2019
Cited by 3
Abstract
Vertically-aligned carbon nanotube forests (VACNTs) with excellent axial heat dissipation properties were formed on aluminum foil to dissipate heat. In addition, the heat dissipation efficiency of aluminum–VACNTs composites in this work was compared with that of commercially available mainstream thermal sheets under the [...] Read more.
Vertically-aligned carbon nanotube forests (VACNTs) with excellent axial heat dissipation properties were formed on aluminum foil to dissipate heat. In addition, the heat dissipation efficiency of aluminum–VACNTs composites in this work was compared with that of commercially available mainstream thermal sheets under the same natural cooling conditions. Chemical vapor deposition (CVD) was employed as a synthesis method using a three-segment high-temperature furnace. Subsequently, the temperature changes in a heating body with the aluminum–VACNTs composites was measured over time subject to natural cooling. In addition, the performance was compared with copper and pyrolytic graphite sheets. The experimental results revealed that the heat dissipation efficiency of the flexible aluminum–VACNTs composites was higher than that of clean aluminum foil, a copper sheet, and a pyrolytic graphite sheet by up to 56%, 40%, and 20%, respectively. Moreover, this work also verified the height of the carbon nanotube (CNT) did not influence the heat dissipation efficiency, indicating that the time cost of synthesis could be reduced. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Thermal Transport in Nanostructures and Nanomaterials)
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Open AccessArticle
Short-Chain Modified SiO2 with High Absorption of Organic PCM for Thermal Protection
Nanomaterials 2019, 9(4), 657; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano9040657 - 25 Apr 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
Organic phase change materials (PCMs) have great potential in thermal protection applications but they suffer from high volumetric change and easy leakage, which require “leak-proof” packaging materials with low thermal conductivity. Herein, we successfully modify SiO2 through a simple 2-step method consisting [...] Read more.
Organic phase change materials (PCMs) have great potential in thermal protection applications but they suffer from high volumetric change and easy leakage, which require “leak-proof” packaging materials with low thermal conductivity. Herein, we successfully modify SiO2 through a simple 2-step method consisting of n-hexane activation followed by short-chain alkane silanization. The modified SiO2 (M-SiO2) exhibits superior hydrophobic property while maintaining the intrinsic high porosity of SiO2. The surface modification significantly improves the absorption rate of RT60 in SiO2 by 38%. The M-SiO2/RT60 composite shows high latent heat of 180 J·g−1, low thermal conductivity of 0.178 W·m−1·K−1, and great heat capacity behavior in a high-power thermal circuit with low penetrated heating flow. Our results provide a simple approach for preparing hydrophobic SiO2 with high absorption of organic PCM for thermal protection applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Thermal Transport in Nanostructures and Nanomaterials)
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Open AccessArticle
Impact of the Regularization Parameter in the Mean Free Path Reconstruction Method: Nanoscale Heat Transport and Beyond
Nanomaterials 2019, 9(3), 414; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano9030414 - 11 Mar 2019
Cited by 3
Abstract
The understanding of the mean free path (MFP) distribution of the energy carriers in materials (e.g., electrons, phonons, magnons, etc.) provides a key physical insight into their transport properties. In this context, MFP spectroscopy has become an important tool to describe the contribution [...] Read more.
The understanding of the mean free path (MFP) distribution of the energy carriers in materials (e.g., electrons, phonons, magnons, etc.) provides a key physical insight into their transport properties. In this context, MFP spectroscopy has become an important tool to describe the contribution of carriers with different MFP to the total transport phenomenon. In this work, we revise the MFP reconstruction technique and present a study on the impact of the regularization parameter on the MFP distribution of the energy carriers. By using the L-curve criterion, we calculate the optimal mathematical value of the regularization parameter. The effect of the change from the optimal value in the MFP distribution is analyzed in three case studies of heat transport by phonons. These results demonstrate that the choice of the regularization parameter has a large impact on the physical information obtained from the reconstructed accumulation function, and thus cannot be chosen arbitrarily. The approach can be applied to various transport phenomena at the nanoscale involving carriers of different physical nature and behavior. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Thermal Transport in Nanostructures and Nanomaterials)
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Open AccessArticle
Enhancing Thermal Conductivity and Photo-Driven Thermal Energy Charging/Discharging Rate of Annealed CMK-3 Based Phase Change Material
Nanomaterials 2019, 9(3), 364; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano9030364 - 05 Mar 2019
Cited by 2
Abstract
In this work, the CMK-3 is successfully prepared with SBA-15 as the template and first annealed to 2000 °C to improve thermal conductivity. The annealed CMK-3 has a thermal conductivity of 6.981 W m−1 K−1 higher than un-annealed CMK-3. The annealed [...] Read more.
In this work, the CMK-3 is successfully prepared with SBA-15 as the template and first annealed to 2000 °C to improve thermal conductivity. The annealed CMK-3 has a thermal conductivity of 6.981 W m−1 K−1 higher than un-annealed CMK-3. The annealed CMK-3 is used to encapsulate the RT44HC, and RT44HC/annealed CMK-3 has 10-fold of thermal conductivity and enhanced thermal stability than RT44HC. The RT44HC/annealed CMK-3 has a large melting enthalpy of 177.8 J g−1 and good thermal stability. The RT44HC/annealed CMK-3 has optical absorptive coefficient of visible range of solar spectrum, which identify seven-fold higher than RT44HC. The RT44HC/annealed CMK-3 has great photo-thermal performance, and the photo-driven energy charging and discharging rate of RT44HC/annealed CMK-3 is almost 30-fold larger than the RT44HC. The results show that the annealed CMK-3 is a great mesoporous carbon nanomaterial for phase change materials and the annealed CMK-3 based phase change material has great potential in solar thermal utilizations such as solar water heating system and solar heating building systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Thermal Transport in Nanostructures and Nanomaterials)
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