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Toward nanofluids of ultra-high thermal conductivity

Liqiu Wang* and Jing Fan

  • * Corresponding author: Liqiu Wang

  • † Equal contributors

Author Affiliations

Department of Mechanical Engineering, The University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam Road, Hong Kong

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Nanoscale Research Letters 2011, 6:153  doi:10.1186/1556-276X-6-153

Published: 18 February 2011


The assessment of proposed origins for thermal conductivity enhancement in nanofluids signifies the importance of particle morphology and coupled transport in determining nanofluid heat conduction and thermal conductivity. The success of developing nanofluids of superior conductivity depends thus very much on our understanding and manipulation of the morphology and the coupled transport. Nanofluids with conductivity of upper Hashin-Shtrikman (H-S) bound can be obtained by manipulating particles into an interconnected configuration that disperses the base fluid and thus significantly enhancing the particle-fluid interfacial energy transport. Nanofluids with conductivity higher than the upper H-S bound could also be developed by manipulating the coupled transport among various transport processes, and thus the nature of heat conduction in nanofluids. While the direct contributions of ordered liquid layer and particle Brownian motion to the nanofluid conductivity are negligible, their indirect effects can be significant via their influence on the particle morphology and/or the coupled transport.