A boron nitride nanotube peapod thermal rectifier

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The precise guidance of heat from one specific location to another is paramount in many industrial and commercial applications, including thermal management and thermoelectric generation. One of the cardinal requirements is a preferential conduction of thermal energy, also known as thermal rectification, in the materials. This study introduces a novel nanomaterial for rectifying heat - the boron nitride nanotube peapod thermal rectifier. Classical non-equilibrium molecular dynamics simulations are performed on this nanomaterial, and interestingly, the strength of the rectification phenomenon is dissimilar at different operating temperatures. This is due to the contingence of the thermal flux on the conductance at the localized region around the scatterer, which varies with temperature. The rectification performance of the peapod rectifier is inherently dependent on its asymmetry. Last but not least, the favourable rectifying direction in the nanomaterial is established. © 2014 AIP Publishing LLC.

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Journal of Applied Physics