We propose a simple thermal transistor, a device to control heat current. In order to effectively change the current, we utilize the gas-liquid transition of the heat-conducting medium (fluid) because the gas region can act as a good thermal insulator. The three terminals of the transistor are located at both ends and the center of the system, and are put into contact with distinct heat baths. The key idea is a special arrangement of the three terminals. The temperature at one end (the gate temperature) is used as an input signal to control the heat current between the center (source, hot) and another end (drain, cold). Simulating the nanoscale systems of this transistor, control of heat current is demonstrated. The heat current is effectively cut off when the gate temperature is cold and it flows normally when it is hot. By using an extended version of this transistor, we also simulate a primitive application for an inverter. © 2011 American Physical Society.
Bibliographical noteKAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01
Acknowledged KAUST grant number(s): KUK-I1-005-04
Acknowledgements: We wish to thank S. Inaoka for helpful advice and for providing his parallelized LJ code, based on which our simulation code was developed. We also thank N. Nakagawa, T. Nogawa, F. Ogushi, T. Shimada, and H. Watanabe for helpful advice. This work was partly supported by Award No. KUK-I1-005-04 made by King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST). The computations were partly carried out using the facilities of the Research Institute for Information Technology, Kyushu University.
This publication acknowledges KAUST support, but has no KAUST affiliated authors.