Non-fourier heat conduction in carbon nanotubes

Hai Dong Wang, Bing Yang Cao, Zeng Yuan Guo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Fourier's law is a phenomenological law to describe the heat transfer process. Although it has been widely used in a variety of engineering application areas, it is still questionable to reveal the physical essence of heat transfer. In order to describe the heat transfer phenomena universally, Guo has developed a general heat conduction law based on the concept of thermomass, which is defined as the equivalent mass of phonon gas in dielectrics according to Einstein's mass-energy relation. The general law degenerates into Fourier's law when the thermal inertia is neglected as the heat flux is not very high. The heat flux in carbon nanotubes (CNTs) may be as high as 1012 W/m 2. In this case, Fourier's law no longer holds. However, what is estimated through the ratio of the heat flux to the temperature gradient by molecular dynamics (MD) simulations or experiments is only the apparent thermal conductivity (ATC); which is smaller than the intrinsic thermal conductivity (ITC). The existing experimental data of single-walled CNTs under the high-bias current flows are applied to study the non-Fourier heat conduction under the ultrahigh heat flux conditions. The results show that ITC and ATC are almost equal under the low heat flux conditions when the thermal inertia is negligible, while the difference between ITC and ATC becomes more notable as the heat flux increases or the temperature drops.

Original languageEnglish
Article number051004
JournalJournal of Heat Transfer
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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