A heat pipe has been known as a thermal superconductor utilizing a liquid-vapor phase change, and it has drawn significant attentions for advanced thermal management systems. However, a challenge is the size limitation, i.e., the heat pipe cannot be smaller than the evaporator/condenser wick structures, typically an order of micron, and a new operating mechanism is required to meet the needs for the nanoscale thermal management systems. In this study, we design the nanoscale heat pipe employing the gas-filled nanostructure, while transferring heat via ballistic fluid-particle motions with a possible returning working fluid via surface diffusions along the nanostructure. The enhanced heat flux for the nano heat pipe is demonstrated using the nonequilibrium molecular dynamics simulations (NEMDS) for the argon gas confined by the 20 nm-long Pt nanogap with a post wall with the temperature difference between the hot and cold surfaces of 20 K. The predicted results show that the maximum heat flux through the gas-filled nanostructure (heat pipe) nearly doubles that of the nanogap without the post wall at 100 < T < 140 K. The optimal operating conditions/material selections are discussed. The results for the nanogap agree with those obtained from the kinetic theory, and provide insights into the design of advanced thermal management systems.

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