Thermal diode utilizing asymmetric contacts to heat baths

Teruhisa S. Komatsu, Nobuyasu Ito

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21 Scopus citations


We propose a simple thermal diode passively acting as a rectifier of heat current. The key design of the diode is the size asymmetry of the areas in contact with two distinct heat baths. The heat-conducting medium is liquid, inside of which gaslike regions are induced depending on the applied conditions. Simulating nanoscale systems of this diode, the rectification of heat current is demonstrated. If the packing density of the medium and the working regime of temperature are properly chosen, the heat current is effectively cut off when the heat bath with narrow contact is hotter, but it flows normally under opposite temperature conditions. In the former case, the gaslike region is induced in the system and it acts as a thermal insulator because it covers the entire narrow area of contact with the bath. © 2010 The American Physical Society.
Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalPhysical Review E
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes


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