Effect of particle size on the thermal conductivity of nanofluids containing metallic nanoparticles
School of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA 30332-0100, USA
Nanoscale Research Letters 2011, 6:247 doi:10.1186/1556-276X-6-247Published: 22 March 2011
A one-parameter model is presented for the thermal conductivity of nanofluids containing dispersed metallic nanoparticles. The model takes into account the decrease in thermal conductivity of metal nanoparticles with decreasing size. Although literature data could be correlated well using the model, the effect of the size of the particles on the effective thermal conductivity of the nanofluid could not be elucidated from these data. Therefore, new thermal conductivity measurements are reported for six nanofluids containing silver nanoparticles of different sizes and volume fractions. The results provide strong evidence that the decrease in the thermal conductivity of the solid with particle size must be considered when developing models for the thermal conductivity of nanofluids.