Interfacial thermal transport via van der Waals interaction is quantitatively evaluated using an individual multi-walled carbon nanotube bonded on a platinum hot-film sensor. The thermal boundary resistance per unit contact area was obtained at the interface between the closed end or sidewall of the nanotube and platinum, gold, or a silicon dioxide surface. When taking into consideration the surface roughness, the thermal boundary resistance at the sidewall is found to coincide with that at the closed end. A new finding is that the thermal boundary resistance between a carbon nanotube and a solid surface is independent of the materials within the experimental errors, which is inconsistent with a traditional phonon mismatch model, which shows a clear material dependence of the thermal boundary resistance. Our data indicate the inapplicability of existing phonon models when weak van der Waals forces are dominant at the interfaces.
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