Nanostructuring expands thermal limits

Woochul Kim, Robert Wang, Arun Majumdar

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

143 Citations (Scopus)


Scientists and engineers can exploit nanostructures to manipulate thermal transport in solids. This is possible because the dominant heat carriers in nonmetals - crystal vibrations (or phonons) - have characteristic lengths in the nanometer range. We review research where this approach is used and propose future research directions. For instance, concepts such as phonon filtering, correlated scattering, and waveguiding could expand the extremes of thermal transport in both the insulating and conducting limits. This will have major implications on energy conservation and conversion, information technology, and thermal management systems.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)40-47
Number of pages8
JournalNano Today
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2007 Feb

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the Basic Energy Sciences, Department of Energy, and the Chemical and Transport Systems Division of the National Science Foundation (NSF) and Office of Naval Research Multidisciplinary University Research Initiative grant (N00014-03-1-0790). RW gratefully acknowledges an NSF IGERT fellowship.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biotechnology
  • Bioengineering
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Pharmaceutical Science


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