Microscopic thermal characteristics of parallelly arranged nanowires in a liquid: the role of interface thermal resistance, solid-like liquid layer, and the restricted phonon transport

C Somarathna and N Samaraweera and S Jayasekara and K Perera, PHYSICA SCRIPTA, 98, 095405 (2023).

DOI: 10.1088/1402-4896/ace860

Nanofluids based on extended nanostructures, such as nanowires, have been demonstrated improved thermal conductivities (& kappa;). However, the lack of a complete understanding at the microscopic level hinders the development of such nanofluids towards practical applications. We aim to provide it by investigating how the interface thermal resistance (R ( b )), ballistic phonon transport, and the solid-like liquid layer affect the heat conduction in nanowire-based nanofluids. By employing Non-Equilibrium Molecular Dynamics (NEMD), it is found that the heat conduction in the parallelly arranged liquid and the nanowires exhibit a coupled thermal behavior owing to the R ( b ). This contradicts the predictions of the classical parallel heat conduction model, therefore, a novel model is proposed taking this coupled behavior into account. Using this model, it is shown that the high & kappa; of the solid phase has a limited contribution to the effective & kappa; of nanofluids having short nanowires due to the dominant R ( b ) effect. For the case of long nanowires, however, the individual nanowire & kappa; becomes a vital parameter defining the effective & kappa;. Further, NEMD calculations reveal that the & kappa; of suspended nanowires in a liquid is markedly reduced, questioning the validity of classical effective medium theories which use the bulk parameters. This reduction is attributed to surface atoms' restricted vibrational freedom and the nanowire's phonon-boundary scattering. By substituting this reduced & kappa; of the solid phase into the new mathematical model, the theoretical predictions align closely with the NEMD calculations, exhibiting deviations below 10%. The sole contribution from the solid- like liquid layer to the & kappa; enhancement lies between 20%-30% in the nanofluids presently considered. Therefore, the findings of this study highlight the important roles play by the identified microscopic thermal characteristics in defining the effective & kappa; of nanofluids based on nanowires.

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