Written by Jonny Williamson
The vast majority of electronic devices create heat when they are being used. Dissipating this heat effectively is paramount to the continuing function of the device as it may become unreliable if it becomes too hot. The new cooling method is particularly applicable to manufacturing equipment which generates a lot of heat, such as lasers and power devices.
Kasichainula’s improved technique takes advantage of a copper-graphene composite material made into a ‘heat spreader’, attached to the device in question via an indium-graphene interface film. During laboratory tests, it was found that the copper-graphene films thermal conductivity properties were significantly greater than pure copper, which is used in most devices currently.
The copper-graphene composite is produced by using an electrochemical deposition, a technique in which a film of solid metal is deposited onto a conductive surface via an electrical current.
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Kasichainula said of the research:
“Both the copper-graphene and indium-graphene have higher thermal conductivity (the rate at which a material conducts heat), allowing the device to cool efficiently.”
The cost-effectiveness of the improved method was also commented on by Kasichainula:
“The copper-graphene composite is also low-cost and easy to produce. Copper is expensive, so replacing some of the copper with graphene actually lowers the overall cost.”
Currently there has been no direct analysis of how much this improved cooling technique could potentially save the world’s manufacturers, but speculation remains positive.
The findings have been published in a paper called ‘Thermal Conductivity of Copper-Graphene Composite Films Synthesized by Electrochemical Deposition with Exfoliated Graphene Platelets’ by Metallurgical and Materials Transactions B.