Atomic layers of graphene could keep electronics cool

May 11th, 2010 - 1:29 pm ICT by ANI  

London, May 11 (ANI): Taking another step toward new technology that could keep laptops and other electronic devices from overheating, scientists have found that multiple layers of graphene, which are easier to make, have unique thermal properties.

Professor Alexander Balandin and a team of UC Riverside researchers, including Chun Ning Lau, an associate professor of physics, experimentally showed in 2008 that graphene, a recently discovered single-atom-thick carbon crystal, is a strong heat conductor.

The problem for practical applications was that it is difficult to produce large, high quality single atomic layers of the material.

Now, in the new study, researchers have found that atomic layers of graphene also retain the strong heat conducting properties.

The researchers also explained theoretically how the materials’ ability to conduct heat evolves when one goes from conventional three-dimensional bulk materials to two-dimensional atomically thin films, such as graphene.

The results could have important practical applications in removal of dissipated hear from electronic devices.

New approaches to managing heat in electronics include incorporating materials with superior thermal properties, such as graphene, into silicon computer chips.

In addition, proposed three-dimension electronics, which use vertical integration of computer chips, would depend on heat removal even more, said Balandin.

Balandin’s research showed that graphene has excellent thermal properties in addition to unique electronic characteristics.

“Graphene is one of the hottest materials right now. Everyone is talking about it,” Nature quoted Balandin as saying.

The study’s results have been published in Nature Materials. (ANI)

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