A review of state of the art thermal diodes and their potential applications

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Original languageEnglish
Article number120607
Journal / PublicationInternational Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer
Online published29 Oct 2020
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2021


Thermal management is an essential aspect of various applications, especially in the area of electronic miniaturization. Thermal diodes, which exhibit asymmetric heat transfer characteristics along an axial direction, are one of the vital components for use in thermal management systems. This review summarizes both theoretical and experimental studies of various types of thermal diodes introduced in recent years. The thermal diodes discussed in this review are classified based on their primary heat transfer mechanisms and the materials from which they are constructed. After gaining an understanding of the thermal rectification mechanisms of these thermal diodes, we also discuss several applications of thermal diodes, including solar power systems, caloric refrigeration systems, and thermal computing. Lastly, we present the application potential of the thermal diodes in several thermal systems that have not been investigated before, such as temperature controllers, micro-electronic cooling, space technologies, atomic clocks, and bio-technologies.

Research Area(s)

  • Heat Transfer, Thermal Conductivity, Thermal Diodes, Thermal Management, Thermal Rectification