Nanoscale thermal switches

Thermal management is of key importance in nanoscale devices that have the bad habit of heating up, thus affecting its performance. Prof. Pramod Reddy (University of Michigan) has a long experience dealing with heat transfer at the nanoscale [1][2].

Recently, at the Department of Mechanical Engineering, they’ve been working in a simple and beautiful idea: a thermal switch that employs nanoscale effects that appear when heat is transferred between two tiny membranes. By bringing a third object (modulator) closer to the membranes, the heat transfer between them can be controlled. What we have here is a multi-body effect  that could be used as an efficient way to actively control of heat transfer at the nanoscale.

This work has been published in Nature Nanotechnology and Prof. Reddy asked us to make this picture to illustrate these promising findings.

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