Dual Phase Change Thermal Diodes with High Rectification for Thermal Management near Room Temperature

Sampath Kommandur, Ravi Kishore, Chuck Booten, Shuang Cui, Lance Wheeler, Judith Vidal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus Citations


Thermal diodes are passive systems that modulate their thermal resistance depending on the direction of temperature gradient, thereby allowing preferential directional heat flow. A dual phase thermal diode consists of a junction between two phase change materials that have opposing temperature-dependent thermal conductivity trends, and whose performance (i.e., rectification ratio) is related to the ratio of the thermal conductivities of the different phases. In this work, a dual phase change diode with a rectification ratio of ≈3.5 for an applied temperature bias of ≈40 K is presented, which is among the highest-performing junction diodes based on phase change materials at the macroscale for near room temperature applications. The diode is composed of an aqueous solution of poly(N-isopropylacrylamide), a thermo-responsive polymer, and calcium chloride hexahydrate—a solid-liquid phase change material. Experimental insights are provided into the contributions of different heat transfer mechanisms, conduction, and convection, and the effect of concentration of the thermo-responsive polymer.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number2101060
Number of pages8
JournalAdvanced Materials Technologies
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Wiley-VCH GmbH.

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5500-79434


  • directional heat
  • phase change materials
  • thermal circuits
  • thermal diodes
  • thermal management
  • thermal rectifiers


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