Near field thermal transport


Transition conduction-radiation at the nanoscale 

When the separation distance between two bodies is in the nanometer range, the distinction between radiation and conduction becomes somewhat blurred. At these scales, long range interactions between solids-van der Waals and electrostatic-mediate near field heat transfer. We study phonon transmission at these scales by employing atomistic simulations. We illustrate in particular how to exploit extreme near field heat transfer to design new detectors and new cooling devices.



Thermal transport across single molecule junctions

Single molecule junctions have been recently considered for their remarkable thermoelectric properties. Their thermal transport properties have been, however, poorly characterized. Using atomistic simulations, we probe heat transfer mediated by vibrations in complex molecules linked to heat reservoirs. Our objective is to reduce thermal transport by playing with the topology of the molecule. 

Interface engineering for tunable thermal transport

Interfacial thermal transport is sensitive to the roughness and the presence of defects. This, in turn, may be exploited either to enhance or to decrease interfacial thermal transport. In this direction, we have shown how to increase thermal transport by nanostructuring the interface with pillars having dimensions larger than the dominant phonon wavelength. By contrast, we have illustrated how to reduce transport through local amorphisation of the interface. 


Collaborators : T. Niehaus (ILM), C. Adessi (ILM), M. Cobian (LTDS), K. Termentzidis (INSA Lyon), P.O. Chapuis (INSA Lyon), B. Gostmann (IBM)

Current students/postdocs : A. Alkurdi (with O. Chapuis), F. Tabatabaei (with T. Niehaus)

Projects: FETOpen EFINED, ANR EFICACE, ANR NearHeat, Labex iMUST

Recent publications:

-A. Alkurdi, C. Adessi, F. Tabatabei, K. Termentzidis and S. Merabia, « Heat transfer in the extreme near field : phonon transmission vs air conduction». Int. Jour. Heat. Mass, (2020)

-A. Alkurdi, S. Pailhès and S. Merabia, «Critical angle for phonon scattering : results from ab initio lattice dynamics calculations », App. Phys. Lett. 111 (2017) 093101


-S. Merabia and K. Termentzidis, “Thermal boundary conductance of rough interfaces probed by equilibrium molecular dynamics”, Phys. Rev. B 89 (2014) 054309