Thermal Switch with Multiple Discrete Levels

ChengLong Zhou,1,2,3 

XiaoHu Wu,3 

Yong Zhang1,2

HongLiang Yi1,2,*Email

1School of Energy Science and Engineering, Harbin Institute of Technology, Harbin 150001, China
2Key Laboratory of Aerospace Thermophysics, Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, Harbin 150001, China
3Shandong Institute of Advanced Technology, Jinan 250100, Shandong, China


As the complexity of control technology increases, a binary switch is far from being able to meet people's needs for the number of control signals. However, few studies have considered how to achieve multiple discrete levels. To solve this problem, we design and demonstrate a 3-state thermal switch that employs combination of layers with different metal–insulator transition temperatures of W-doped and undoped VO2. These results overcoming the limitation that the original binary radiative switch only provides two discrete thermal signals (“ON” and “OFF”). Moreover, we further demonstrate that the introduction of twodimensional(2D) materials can effectively improve the resolution of discrete thermal signals, that is, make thedifference of radiative heat flux between two adjacent discrete thermal signals more obvious. Finally, the feasibility for performing more number of discrete thermal signals is discussed by setting the number of films and the W-doped concentration of each film. These results pave the way for the development of multi-state channel information processing and multiple thermal management at compact thermal circuits.

Thermal Switch with Multiple Discrete Levels