, Volume 10, Issue 7, pp 1109-1114
Date: 18 Jan 2008

Application of SAXS to the study of particle-size-dependent thermal conductivity in silica nanofluids

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Abstract

Knowledge of the size and distribution of nanoparticles in solution is critical to understanding the observed enhancements in thermal conductivity and heat transfer of nanofluids. We have applied small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) to the characterization of SiO2 nanoparticles (10–30 nm) uniformly dispersed in a water-based fluid using the Advanced Photon Source at Argonne National Laboratory. Size distributions for the suspended nanoparticles were derived by fitting experimental data to an established model. Thermal conductivity of the SiO2 nanofluids was also measured, and the relation between the average particle size and the thermal conductivity enhancement was established. The experimental data contradict models based on fluid interfacial layers or Brownian motion but support the concept of thermal resistance at the liquid–particle interface.