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Mechanisms Of Heat Flow In Suspensions Of Nano-sized Particles (nanofluids)

P. Keblinski, S. Phillpot, S. U. Choi, J. A. Eastman
Published 2002 · Materials Science

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Recent measurements on nanofluids have demonstrated that the thermal conductivity increases with decreasing grain size. However, such increases cannot be explained by existing theories. We explore four possible explanations for this anomalous increase: Brownian motion of the particles, molecular-level layering of the liquid at the liquid/particle interface, the nature of heat transport in the nanoparticles, and the effects of nanoparticle clustering. We show that the key factors in understanding thermal properties of nanofluids are the ballistic, rather than diffusive, nature of heat transport in the nanoparticles, combined with direct or fluid-mediated clustering effects that provide paths for rapid heat transport.
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