Date of Award

12-2006

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Major

Mechanical Engineering

Major Professor

Kenneth D. Kihm

Committee Members

Masood Parang, Anthony E. English, Jayne Wu

Abstract

Nanofluids are colloids that consist of a base fluid and nanometer sized metallic particles, which serve to improve the heat and mass transport characteristics of nanofluids over those of the base fluid. Many researchers, attracted to the highly enhanced thermal conductivity, have studied nanofluids, and yet have never been able to reveal the basic mechanisms of their characteristic improvements. This present work thus seeks to gain an understanding of the role of nanoparticles in nanofluidic heat and mass transport characteristics through three experimental measurements: 1) thermal conductivity measurement, 2) thermophoretic motion measurement, and 3) evaporation measurement.

Using thermal conductivity, thermophoresis, and evaporation measurements of nanofluids, nanofluidic heat and mass transport has been studied, thermal conductivity model has been derived, and the roles of nanoparticles in nanofluids have been revealed. Thus, the present work contributes specifically towards an understanding of the fundamental role of nanoparticles in the heat and mass transport of nanofluids and generally towards the use nanofluids in heat and mass transport applications.

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