Nanofluids — colloidal suspensions of nanoparticles in base fluids — are known to possess superior thermal properties compared to the base fluids. Various theoretical models have been suggested to explain the often anomalous enhancement of these properties. Liquid layering around the nanoparticle is one of such reasons. The effect of the particle size on the extent of liquid layering around the nanoparticle has been investigated in the present study. Classical molecular dynamics simulations have been performed in the investigation, considering the case of a copper nanoparticle suspended in liquid argon. The results show a strong dependence of thickness of the liquid layer on the particle size, below a particle diameter of 4nm. To establish the role of liquid layering in the enhancement of thermal conductivity, simulations have been performed at constant volume fraction for different particle sizes using Green Kubo formalism. The thermal conductivity results show 100% enhancement at 3.34% volume fraction for particle size of 2nm. The results establish the dominant role played by liquid layering in the enhanced thermal conductivity of nanofluids at the low particle sizes used. Contrary to the previous findings, the molecular dynamics simulations also predict a strong dependence of the liquid layer thickness on the particle size in the case of small particles.

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