Spectral mapping of heat transfer mechanisms at liquid-solid interfaces

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Research units

  • CentraleSupélec
  • CNRS Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique


Thermal transport through liquid-solid interfaces plays an important role in many chemical and biological processes, and better understanding of liquid-solid energy transfer is expected to enable improving the efficiency of thermally driven applications. We determine the spectral distribution of thermal current at liquid-solid interfaces from nonequilibrium molecular dynamics, delivering a detailed picture of the contributions of different vibrational modes to liquid-solid energy transfer. Our results show that surface modes located at the Brillouin zone edge and polarized along the liquid-solid surface normal play a crucial role in liquid-solid energy transfer. Strong liquid-solid adhesion allows also for the coupling of in-plane polarized modes in the solid with the liquid, enhancing the heat-transfer rate and enabling efficient energy transfer up to the cutoff frequency of the solid. Our results provide fundamental understanding of the energy-transfer mechanisms in liquid-solid systems and enable detailed investigations of energy transfer between, e.g., water and organic molecules.


Original languageEnglish
Article number052141
Pages (from-to)1-8
JournalPhysical Review E
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 24 May 2016
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

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