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A Faster, Cheaper Way to Cool Lasers

Photonics.com
Apr 2012
RALEIGH, N.C., April 10, 2012 — A “heat spreader” that cools electronics 25 percent faster than pure copper could end the hunt for a faster, cheaper way to cool computers and other electronic devices.

The technique, developed at North Carolina State University, uses a copper-graphene composite, which is attached to the electronic device using an indium-graphene interface film.

“Both the copper-graphene and indium-graphene have higher thermal conductivity, allowing the device to cool efficiently,” said Dr. Jag Kasichainula, an associate professor of materials science and engineering and author of the study.

Most electronic devices use pure copper for cooling, but Kasichainula found that the copper-graphene film’s thermal conductivity allows it to cool down approximately 25 percent faster than the currently utilized metal.

“The copper-graphene composite is also low-cost and easy to produce,” Kasichainula said. “Copper is expensive, so replacing some of the copper with graphene actually lowers the overall cost.”

It is important to find cheaper, more effective ways of dissipating heat from electronics because they become unreliable if they get too hot.

The study appeared in Metallurgical and Materials Transactions B.

For more information, visit: www.ncsu.edu  


GLOSSARY
photonics
The technology of generating and harnessing light and other forms of radiant energy whose quantum unit is the photon. The science includes light emission, transmission, deflection, amplification and detection by optical components and instruments, lasers and other light sources, fiber optics, electro-optical instrumentation, related hardware and electronics, and sophisticated systems. The range of applications of photonics extends from energy generation to detection to communications and...
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