Tunable thermal rectification in graphene nanoribbons through defect engineering: A molecular dynamics study

Yan Wang, Purdue University
Siyu Chen, Purdue University
Xiulin Ruan, Birck Nanotechnology Center, Purdue University

Date of this Version



Yan Wang, Siyu Chen and Xiulin Ruan. Appl. Phys. Lett. 100, 163101 (2012); http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.3703756


Copyright (2012) American Institute of Physics. This article may be downloaded for personal use only. Any other use requires prior permission of the author and the American Institute of Physics. The following article appeared in Appl. Phys. Lett. 100, 163101 (2012) and may be found at http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.3703756. The following article has been submitted to/accepted by Applied Physics Letters. Copyright (2012) Yan Wang, Siyu Chen and Xiulin Ruan. This article is distributed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.


Using non-equilibrium molecular dynamics, we show that asymmetrically defected graphene nanoribbons (GNR) are promising thermal rectifiers. The optimum conditions for thermal rectification (TR) include low temperature, high temperature bias, similar to 1% concentration of single-vacancy or substitutional silicon defects, and a moderate partition of the pristine and defected regions. TR ratio of similar to 80% is found in a 14-nm long and 4-nm wide GNR at a temperature of 200 K and bias of 90 K, where heat conduction is in the ballistic regime since the bulk effective phonon mean-free-path is around 775 nm. As the GNR length increases towards the diffusive regime, the TR ratio decreases and eventually stabilizes at a length-independent value of about 3%-5%. This work extends defect engineering to 2D materials for achieving TR. (C) 2012 American Institute of Physics. [http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.3703756]


Nanoscience and Nanotechnology