Thermal transistor utilizing gas-liquid transition

Teruhisa S. Komatsu, Nobuyasu Ito

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


We propose a simple thermal transistor, a device to control heat current. In order to effectively change the current, we utilize the gas-liquid transition of the heat-conducting medium (fluid) because the gas region can act as a good thermal insulator. The three terminals of the transistor are located at both ends and the center of the system, and are put into contact with distinct heat baths. The key idea is a special arrangement of the three terminals. The temperature at one end (the gate temperature) is used as an input signal to control the heat current between the center (source, hot) and another end (drain, cold). Simulating the nanoscale systems of this transistor, control of heat current is demonstrated. The heat current is effectively cut off when the gate temperature is cold and it flows normally when it is hot. By using an extended version of this transistor, we also simulate a primitive application for an inverter. © 2011 American Physical Society.
Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalPhysical Review E
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 25 2011
Externally publishedYes


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