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Interfacial thermal resistance between the graphene-coated copper and liquid water
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The thermal coupling at water-solid interfaces is a key factor in controlling thermal resistance and the performance of nanoscale devices. This is especially important across the recently engineered nano-composite structures composed of a graphene-coated-metal surface. In this paper, a series of molecular dynamics simulations were conducted to investigate Kapitza length at the interface of liquid water and nano-composite surfaces of graphene-coated-Cu(1 1 1). We found that Kapitza length gradually increased and converged to the value measured on pure graphite surface with the increase of the number of graphene layers inserted on the Cu surface. Different than the earlier hypothesis on the "transparency of graphene," the Kapitza length at the interface of mono-layer graphene coated Cu and water was found to be 2.5 times larger than the value of bare Cu surface. This drastic change of thermal resistance with the additional of a single graphene is validated by the surface energy calculations indicating that the mono-layer graphene allows only ∼18% van der Waals energy of underneath Cu to transmit. We introduced an "overall interaction strength" value for the nano-composites based the quantitative contribution of pair interaction potentials of each material with water into the total surface energy in each case. Similar to earlier studies, results revealed that Kapitza length shows exponentially variation as a function of the estimated interaction strength of the nano-composite surfaces. The effect of Cu/graphene coupling on thermal behavior between the nano-composite with water was characterized. The Kapitza length was found to decrease significantly with increased Cu/graphene strength in the case of weak coupling, while this behavior becomes negligible with strong coupling of Cu and graphene.