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Pure Carbon Could Solve All Your Heat Disspipation Worries

By - Source: University of Austin | B 24 comments

There is hope for a future in which computing devices could, theoretically, operate without the need for elaborate cooling techniques.

Researchers at the University of Texas at Austin said that a new form of graphene could essentially prevent laptops and other electronics from overheating and enable chip companies and device manufacturers to pack much more powerful chips into mobile devices.

Graphene, an atom-thick layer of carbon, typically consists of 98.9 percent 12C (carbon) and 1.1 percent 13C, but the graphene created by the University of Texas at Austin scientists represents 99.9 percent 12C and isotopically pure carbon. In their experiments, the material was 60 percent more effective at managing and transferring heat than normal graphene, the scientists said.

"This demonstration brings graphene a step closer to being used as a conductor for managing heat in a variety of devices. The potential of this material, and its promise for the electronic industry, is very exciting," said Rodney Ruoff, a physical chemist at the University's Cockrell School.

"Because self-heating of fast and densely packed devices deteriorates their performance, graphene's ability to conduct heat well will be very helpful in improving them," added Alexander Balandin, a professor of Electrical Engineering, chair of Materials Science and Engineering at the University of California Riverside and a corresponding author of the research paper published in the journal Nature Materials.

"Initially, graphene would likely be used in some niche applications, such as thermal interface materials for chip packaging or transparent electrodes in photovoltaic solar cells or flexible displays," he continued. "But, in a few years, the uses of graphene will be diverse, broad and far-reaching because the excellent heat conduction properties of this material are beneficial for all its proposed electronic applications."

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Top Comments
  • 11 Hide
    gmarsack , January 11, 2012 9:42 PM
    Graphene solves a lot a problems. :) 
  • 11 Hide
    A Bad Day , January 11, 2012 9:44 PM
    Graphene thermal paste, graphene heatsinks, graphene heatpipes, graphene cooling fins and eventually graphene transistors. Yay for no more bulky and heavy air/water cooling setups for monster overclocking.

    Then again, we'll find a way to necessitate a bulky air/water setup even with grahpene...
  • 10 Hide
    wiinippongamer , January 11, 2012 11:19 PM
    Big_DavosSo that which is supposedly keeping the heat in (carbon in the atmosphere = global warming) is now going to have the opposite effect in electronics? Interesting. It also seems the days of the silicon wafer are numbered.



    Stupidest comment of the month.
Other Comments
  • 11 Hide
    gmarsack , January 11, 2012 9:42 PM
    Graphene solves a lot a problems. :) 
  • 11 Hide
    A Bad Day , January 11, 2012 9:44 PM
    Graphene thermal paste, graphene heatsinks, graphene heatpipes, graphene cooling fins and eventually graphene transistors. Yay for no more bulky and heavy air/water cooling setups for monster overclocking.

    Then again, we'll find a way to necessitate a bulky air/water setup even with grahpene...
  • 1 Hide
    nebun , January 11, 2012 9:52 PM
    i will believe it when i see it....well the price a little to much for the average joe like you and me :( 
  • 1 Hide
    joytech22 , January 11, 2012 9:53 PM
    If it conducts heat so well, link the Graphene to the chassis of the case and dissipate the heat through that? But the cases would kinda have to be Aluminium or some other good heat conducting material.. :\
  • 1 Hide
    JohnnyLucky , January 11, 2012 10:34 PM
    I can't think this one through. The old Star Trek movie about "carbon based life forms" keeps popping into my head.
  • 1 Hide
    chumly , January 11, 2012 10:34 PM
    Too bad its expensive as all hell.
  • 1 Hide
    segio526 , January 11, 2012 10:34 PM
    Could this mean the return of the high-end single-slot graphics card? Probably not since they'll just clock the things so high they'll still need dual-slot coolers :-(
  • 4 Hide
    Pyree , January 11, 2012 10:35 PM
    Big_DavosSo that which is supposedly keeping the heat in (carbon in the atmosphere = global warming) is now going to have the opposite effect in electronics? Interesting. It also seems the days of the silicon wafer are numbered.

    Carbon dioxide is very different from grapheme. CO2- trap heat vs graphene- good conductor.
  • 8 Hide
    balister , January 11, 2012 10:46 PM
    *smacks head against desk*

    It's been well known in materials science and engineering circles for years that diamond, aka carbon, is the best heat conductor known. What makes diamond unusual is that it's a great electrical insulator while being a great heat conductor (this is counter-intuitive as good heat conductivity and good electrical conductivity go hand in hand, except with carbon).

    The whole reason we don't have diamon heat sinks is because of the diamond consortiums like De Biers. Artificial diamond is indistiguishable from natural diamond when grown properly (and GE knows how to do it). As such, the diamond consortiums have leaned hard on the producers of artificial diamonds. One can only hope that this changes.
  • 0 Hide
    kronos_cornelius , January 11, 2012 11:08 PM
    I totally sing up for a diamond heat sink. But, by the time we get them, we are going to be in 10mm features on the silicon chips, with very low voltages. this means the chips may work fine in normal temperature. we may not need them by the time they come around. My phone does not have a huge copper heat sink, and 5 years from now those are the chips we'll be running on the servers and desktops.
  • 10 Hide
    wiinippongamer , January 11, 2012 11:19 PM
    Big_DavosSo that which is supposedly keeping the heat in (carbon in the atmosphere = global warming) is now going to have the opposite effect in electronics? Interesting. It also seems the days of the silicon wafer are numbered.



    Stupidest comment of the month.
  • 0 Hide
    southernshark , January 11, 2012 11:25 PM
    While for sure heat is important, let's remember that this won't effect battery life. So while this is certainly useful, we are still stuck with relatively low powered devices in mobile units, at least until something can be done on that front.

    I see this to be less useful in mobile devices than in OC'd systems where people are trying to max out their system performance. Not that I am saying it is useless in laptops and tablets since it obviously isn't.
  • -2 Hide
    A Bad Day , January 12, 2012 12:09 AM
    joytech22If it conducts heat so well, link the Graphene to the chassis of the case and dissipate the heat through that? But the cases would kinda have to be Aluminium or some other good heat conducting material.. :\


    The problem is that graphene isn't stiff, it's like super flexible paper that's tougher than steel. You'd have to stretch it over a frame. That would also be a problem since there has to be a way to connect the case to the components for proper cooling.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , January 12, 2012 12:35 AM
    If pure carbon is what is needed, use artificial diamonds hehehe.
  • 0 Hide
    palladin9479 , January 12, 2012 1:07 AM
    Basically they use this to make a thin layer for thermal interface materials. Once manufacturing capability is good they can further create graphene heat pipes which would further enhance it's thermal transfer capabilities.
  • 0 Hide
    danwat1234 , January 12, 2012 3:46 AM
    "could essentially prevent laptops and other electronics from overheating and enable chip companies and
    device manufacturers to pack much more powerful chips into mobile devices."

    Not without a fan that has a good air supply. Like say a laptop that just has 1 suction vent and you put in on your bed....
  • 0 Hide
    alidan , January 12, 2012 4:20 AM
    A Bad DayGraphene thermal paste, graphene heatsinks, graphene heatpipes, graphene cooling fins and eventually graphene transistors. Yay for no more bulky and heavy air/water cooling setups for monster overclocking.Then again, we'll find a way to necessitate a bulky air/water setup even with grahpene...


    in all honesty when Graphene is finalized and it is actually put out of the consumer products, you probably won't be able overclocked it. I remember reading about how Graphene is able to handle speeds that come close to light.
  • 1 Hide
    bin1127 , January 12, 2012 5:14 AM
    military equipment should use diamond conductors. at least I would stop wondering where the billions are going.
  • 4 Hide
    vaughn2k , January 12, 2012 8:30 AM
    Aluminum has a thermal conductivity of 270 W/m-k
    Copper has 480
    Graphene is between 4000 to 5000

    It figures...
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