Scientists have solved a big problem that prevented them from using graphene for cooling electronics.
A research team from Chalmers University of Technology have discovered a method that solves a big problem for scientists hoping to use graphene to cool electronics, and the discovery could have profound implications for the industry.
The team discovered a method that would allow them to thicken the graphene-based film that would be used to cool electronics with four times the thermal conductivity capacity as copper, and it would work with silicon-based electronics, according to a Science Daily report.
The team was trying to solve a growing problem in the electronics industry: how to cool electronics as they generate more and more heat due to ever-growing demands for greater and greater performance.
Graphene has been put forward as a possible solution by Johan Liu, a professor at Chalmers, who was the first to show its cooling effects on electronics and proposed it as a solution a couple years ago. This provided a lead for the industry looking to solve this vexing problem.
But there was a big problem: scientists could only use a few thin layers of thermal conductive atoms, because if they attempted to thicken the film, it would no longer attach to the silicon because it has a weak atomic bond with it.
However, scientists think they have now solved the problem by strengthening the covalent bonds between the silicon surface and the graphene film by adding (3-Aminopropyl) triethoxysilane (APTES) molecules, which create silane bonds when heated and put through hydrolysis.
Using this method, the team was able to double the thermal conductivity of the graphene-based film, and at 20 micrometers it has four times the thermal conductivity of copper.