Van der Waals force assisted heat transfer for vacuum gap spacings

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Title: Van der Waals force assisted heat transfer for vacuum gap spacings
Authors: Sasihithlu, K
Pendry, JB
Craster, RV
Item Type: Working Paper
Abstract: Phonons (collective atomic vibrations in solids) are more effective in transporting heat than photons. This is the reason why the conduction mode of heat transport in nonmetals (mediated by phonons) is dominant compared to the radiation mode of heat transport (mediated by photons). However, since phonons are unable to traverse a vacuum gap (unlike photons) it is commonly believed that two bodies separated by a gap cannot exchange heat via phonons. Recently, a mechanism was proposed by which phonons can transport heat across a vacuum gap - through Van der Waals interaction between two bodies with gap less than wavelength of light. Such heat transfer mechanisms are highly relevant for heating (and cooling) of nanostructures; the heating of the flying heads in magnetic storage disks is a case in point. Here, the theoretical derivation for modeling phonon transmission is revisited and extended to the case of two bodies made of different materials separated by a vacuum gap. Magnitudes of phonon transmission, and hence the heat transfer, for commonly used materials in the micro and nano-electromechanical industry are calculated and compared with the calculation of conduction heat transfer through air for small gaps.
Sponsor/Funder: Engineering & Physical Science Research Council (EPSRC)
Funder's Grant Number: EP/L024926/1
Keywords: cond-mat.mes-hall
Appears in Collections:Mathematics
Applied Mathematics and Mathematical Physics
Faculty of Natural Sciences

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