Carbon nanotube thermal interfaces on gadolinium foil

Patrick T. McCarthy, Birck Nanotechnology Center, Purdue University
Ernesto E. Marinero, Hitachi San Jose Research Lab; Purdue University
Timothy S. Fisher, Birck Nanotechnology Center, Purdue University

Date of this Version



International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer Volume 55, Issues 23–24, November 2012, Pages 6716–6722


We report the thermal behavior of gadolinium foils to be used in magneto thermoelectric generator cells. Magneto thermoelectric generator cell technology exploits the ferromagnetic phase transition of gadolinium to drive the movement of a diaphragm 'shuttle' whose mechanical energy is converted to electrical form and which enhances heat transfer through both conduction and convection. Efficient heat transfer at mechanical interfaces is critical to increase shuttle speed and the commensurate rate of heat transfer. The synthesis and characterization of carbon nanotube thermal interfaces for the gadolinium foils are described. The total thermal interface resistance of the carbon nanotube coated gadolinium was measured using a one-dimensional reference calorimeter technique. Improvement of carbon nanotube growth based on parametric process variations is described, and the effect of hydrogen embrittlement on the magnetic properties of the gadolinium foils during carbon nanotube growth is quantified. The samples generated in this study were consistently measured with total thermal interface resistances in the range of 65-105 mm(2) K/W, a reduction of 55-70% compared to bare gadolinium (R-int approximate to 230 mm(2) K/W). The addition of carbon nanotube arrays did not alter the magnetic properties of the gadolinium foils and only a slight decrease in the magnetic moment of the gadolinium samples (8-13%) was measured after growth. (C) 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Nanoscience and Nanotechnology