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Temperature-Gated Thermal Rectifier for Active Heat Flow Control

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journal contribution
posted on 2014-08-13, 00:00 authored by Jia Zhu, Kedar Hippalgaonkar, Sheng Shen, Kevin Wang, Yohannes Abate, Sangwook Lee, Junqiao Wu, Xiaobo Yin, Arun Majumdar, Xiang Zhang
Active heat flow control is essential for broad applications of heating, cooling, and energy conversion. Like electronic devices developed for the control of electric power, it is very desirable to develop advanced all-thermal solid-state devices that actively control heat flow without consuming other forms of energy. Here we demonstrate temperature-gated thermal rectification using vanadium dioxide beams in which the environmental temperature actively modulates asymmetric heat flow. In this three terminal device, there are two switchable states, which can be regulated by global heating. In the “Rectifier” state, we observe up to 28% thermal rectification. In the “Resistor” state, the thermal rectification is significantly suppressed (<1%). To the best of our knowledge, this is the first demonstration of solid-state active-thermal devices with a large rectification in the Rectifier state. This temperature-gated rectifier can have substantial implications ranging from autonomous thermal management of heating and cooling systems to efficient thermal energy conversion and storage.