Recent research suggests that there may finally be a better way to keep electronic devices from overheating, by using an extremely thin graphene film.
One of the largest complaints with consumer electronics today is that they tend to generate an awful lot of heat. The excess energy created by electronics may no longer be an issue, according to a report from The Engineer. A new study from engineers at Chalmers University of Technology reveals the secrets of graphene, a thin film that has a thermal conductivity capacity nearly four times that of copper.
Scientists have known for some time that graphene was a prime candidate for cooling off electronics. Their biggest hurdle to realizing this idea was that they didn’t know how to attach the graphene to a device that needed to be cooled. Now, these bold engineers have devised a method for attaching the film to electronics made of silicon, by forming ultra-strong covalent bonds.
Most laptops, tablets and smartphones on the market today produce an significant amount of heat when they’re running at full capacity. Electronics will undoubtedly last longer if their exposure to heat is limited. Keeping your devices cool has the added benefit of making them much more energy-efficient.
And electronics certainly use a ton of power – according to a recent study, nearly half the energy needed to power the world’s computer servers is dedicated to keeping the electronic components at a cool temperature.
Professor Johan Liu of the Chalmers University of Technology explained that this new method for creating covalent bonds allows for the graphene layer to be extremely thin – they were able to create a material that was only 20 micrometers in thickness.
Liu’s research could lead to a new generation of cool-running, energy-efficient electronics, which would slash energy demand and keep the world’s laps and pockets a little bit cooler.