Thermal conductivity of nanoscale colloidal solutions (nanofluids)

Ravi Prasher, Prajesh Bhattacharya, Patrick Phelan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

906 Scopus citations


Researchers have been perplexed for the past five years with the unusually high thermal conductivity (k) of nanoparticle-laden colloidal solutions (nanofluids). Although various mechanisms and models have been proposed in the literature to explain the high k of these nanofluids, no concrete conclusions have been reached. Through an order-of-magnitude analysis of various possible mechanisms, we show that convection caused by the Brownian movement of these nanoparticles is primarily responsible for the enhancement in k of these colloidal nanofluids.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number025901
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 21 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Physics and Astronomy


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