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Layered thermal metamaterials for the directing and harvesting of conductive heat
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The utility of a metamaterial, assembled from two layers of nominally isotropic materials, for thermal energy re-orientation and harvesting is examined. A study of the underlying phenomena related to heat flux manipulation, exploiting the anisotropy of the thermal conductivity tensor, is a focus. The notion of the assembled metamaterial as an effective thermal medium forms the basis for many of these investigations and will be probed. An overarching aim is to implement in such thermal metamaterials, functionalities well known from light optics, such as reflection and refraction, which in turn may yield insights on efficient thermal lensing. Consequently, the harness and dissipation of heat, which are for example, of much importance in energy conservation and improving electrical device performance, may be accomplished. The possibilities of energy harvesting, through exploiting anisotropic thermopower in the metamaterials is also examined. The review concludes with a brief survey of the outstanding issues and insights needed for further progress.
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