Phase-change radiative thermal diode

Abstract : A thermal diode transports heat mainly in one preferential direction rather than in the opposite direction. This behavior is generally due to the non-linear dependence of certain physical properties with respect to the temperature. Here we introduce a radiative thermal diode which rectifies heat transport thanks to the phase transitions of materials. Rectification coefficients greater than 70% and up to 90% are shown, even for small temperature differences. This result could have important applications in the development of future contactless thermal circuits or in the conception of radiative coatings for thermal management. V C 2013 AIP Publishing LLC. [http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.4829618] Asymmetry of heat transport with respect to the sign of the temperature gradient between two points is the basic definition of thermal rectification, 1,2 which is at the heart of a variety of applications as, for example, in thermal regulation, thermal modulation, and heat engines. This unusual thermal behavior has opened the way to new concepts for manipulating the heat flow similar to the electric current in electronic devices. Usually, this manipulation finds its origin in the non-linear behavior of materials with respect to the temperature , which, for the thermal rectification, breaks the symmetry of transfer when the temperature gradient is reversed. The effectiveness of the thermal rectification can be measured by means of the rectification coefficient g ¼ jU F ÀU R j
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Philippe Ben-Abdallah, Svend-Age Biehs. Phase-change radiative thermal diode. Applied Physics Letters, American Institute of Physics, 2013, 103 (19), pp.191907. ⟨10.1063/1.4829618]⟩. ⟨hal-01334898⟩

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