Crystalline super-networks for super thermal insulation

Categorie(s) : Education, News, Research

Published : 8 December 2015

It is generally accepted that the thermal conductivity of a crystalline material is lowest when the material is in its amorphous form. Researchers from INAC and LiPhy* recently used numerical simulation to show that thermal conductivity could be reduced two- or even three-fold by organizing the crystalline material in super-networks—which means stacking nanostructured multilayers in an orderly manner, alternating two chemical species with diff erent atomic masses.
The researchers varied the multilayer periodicity to obtain the desired property and do not expect the material’s structuration to aff ect electrical conductivity. If they are correct, they will have reconciled the seemingly irreconcilable—at least for two hurdles to nanometric components: eff ective electron transport and high thermal insulation.

*A Grenoble-Alpes University Joseph Fourier School of Science interdisciplinary laboratory


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