A team of researchers from Chamlers University claim that graphene film used for electronics cooling systems may prove an efficient alternative to current cooling solutions.
At present, approximately 50% of your computer’s total energy is used to cool it down and this situation must change in the future. Almost every aspect relating to your computer, from performance to lifespan, is influenced by cooling efficiency.
Technology is advancing and with greater power needs come greater transistor challenges. Manufacturers have been struggling to decrease transistor sizes, however, this is no simple matter, as there are heat energy dissipation particularities they have to account for.
The team’s work was presented in the latest issue of Advanced Functional Materials and presented new technology capable of outstripping copper’s thermal conductivity capacity by a factor of four. The graphene film would simply be attached to silicon-based electronic components.
Johan Liu and his team had previously investigated the properties of graphene. They had already been clear on its cooling properties, however, the issue involved sticking the graphene layer to silicon chips.
According to Professor Liu, the methods that had been available until now presented many problems, because they could not solve the issue of excessive heat. Until now, they only involved “a few layers of thermal conductive atoms.”
Liu’s team managed to solve this particular problem. They began experimenting with covalent bonds and used them to link the graphene film to the desired surface (in this case, the silicon component). Covalent bonds, as opposed to weaker bonds, such as Van Der Waals bonds, increase adhesiveness between grapheme and the silicon surface.
In the end, the researchers doubled the graphene’s thermal conductivity and such advances may lead to impressive applications.
The first thing that comes to mind is improving high power electronics. The graphene film could be incorporated in smaller, less energy consuming and faster electronics. However, according to Liu, this increased thermal capacity also means that the graphene film could be incorporated into microelectronic devices.
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