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Device physics

The heat is on — and off

By coating a nanotube with a molecular layer that is thicker on one end than the other, it is possible to make a thermal rectifier that allows heat to flow easily along the tube in one direction, but not so easily in the opposite direction.

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Figure 1: A chain of particles connected by springs (or atoms connected by bonds) can act as a thermal rectifier under certain conditions.

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Casati, G. The heat is on — and off. Nature Nanotech 2, 23–24 (2007). https://doi.org/10.1038/nnano.2006.191

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