Owing to its amorphous structure, a chalcogenide glass exhibits a thermal conductivity k approaching the theoretical minimum of its composition, called the Einstein's limit. In this work, this limit is beaten in an amorphous solid consisting of glassy particles joined by nanosized contacts. When amorphous particles are sintered below the glass transition temperature under a high pressure, these particles can be mechanically bonded with a minimized interfacial thermal conductance. This reduces the effective k below the Einstein's limit while providing superior mechanical strength under a high pressure for thermal insulation applications under harsh environments. The lowest room temperature k for the solid counterpart can be as low as 0.10 W/m·K, which is significantly lower than k≈0.2 W/m·K for the bulk glass.
- Einstein's limit
- Thermal insulation
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
- Fuel Technology
- Energy Engineering and Power Technology
- Economics and Econometrics