Thermal rectification in multilayer phase change material structures for energy storage applications

Timm Swoboda, Katja Klinar, Shahzaib Abbasi, Gerrit Brem, Andrej Kitanovski, Miguel Muñoz Rojo*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)
78 Downloads (Pure)


Solid-state thermal control devices that present an asymmetric heat flow depending on thermal bias directionality, referred to as thermal diodes, have recently received increased attention for energy management. The use of materials that can change phase is a common approach to design thermal diodes, but typical sizes, moderate rectification ratios, and narrow thermal tunability limit their potential applications. In this work, we propose a multilayer thermal diode made of a combination of phase change and invariant materials. This device presents state-of-the-art thermal rectification ratios up to 136% for a temperature range between 300 K and 500 K. Importantly, this design allows to switch between distinct rectification states that can be modulated with temperature, achieving an additional degree of thermal control compared with single-rectification-state devices. We analyze the relevance of our thermal diodes for retaining heat more efficiently in thermal storage elements.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102843
Number of pages13
Issue number8
Early online date10 Jul 2021
Publication statusPublished - 20 Aug 2021


  • energy engineering
  • energy materials
  • materials science
  • UT-Gold-D


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