Random walks in nanotube composites: Improved algorithms and the role of thermal boundary resistance

Duong, Hai M.; Papavassiliou, Dimitrios V.; Lee, Lloyd L.; Mullen, Kieran J.
July 2005
Applied Physics Letters;7/4/2005, Vol. 87 Issue 1, p013101
Academic Journal
Random walk simulations of thermal walkers are used to study the effect of interfacial resistance on heat flow in randomly dispersed carbon nanotube composites. The adopted algorithm effectively makes the thermal conductivity of the nanotubes themselves infinite. The probability that a walker colliding with a matrix-nanotube interface reflects back into the matrix phase or crosses into the carbon nanotube phase is determined by the thermal boundary (Kapitza) resistance. The use of “cold” and “hot” walkers produces a steady state temperature profile that allows accurate determination of the thermal conductivity. The effects of the carbon nanotube orientation, aspect ratio, volume fraction, and Kapitza resistance on the composite effective conductivity are quantified.


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