Thermal metamaterials are of great importance in advanced energy control and management. Previous studies mainly focused on interfaces with perfect bonding conditions. In principle, imperfectness always exists across interface and the effect is intriguingly important with small-length scales. This work reports the imperfect interface effect in thermal metamaterials thoroughly. Low conductivity- and high conductivity-type interfaces are considered. We show that an object can always be made thermally invisible, with the effect of imperfect interface, as that of a homogeneous background material. This unprecedented condition is derived in an exact and analytic form, systematically structured, with much versatile and physical implications. Conditions for thermal shielding and enhancements are analytically found and numerically exemplified, highlighting the specific role of material and geometric parameters. We find that both types of interfaces are complementing with each other which, all together, will constitute a full spectrum to achieve the thermal invisibility. The analytic finding offers a general perception that adds to the understanding of heat transport mechanism across interfaces in thermal metamaterials, in ways that drastically distinct from that of ideal interfaces. This finding opens up new possibilities for the control and management of thermal metamaterials with imperfect bonding interfaces.
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