Cooler computers, smartphones using graphene

London, July 11 (IANS) Almost half of the total energy used in running a computer goes in cooling it down. That is going to change now.

Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, have developed a method for efficiently cooling electronics using graphene-based film.

Getting rid of excess heat in efficient ways is imperative to prolonging electronic lifespan, and would also lead to a considerable reduction in energy usage, experts said.

The film is attachable to electronic components made of silicon and has a thermal conductivity capacity that is four times that of copper.

A team led by professor Johan Liu from Chalmers University had earlier shown that graphene can have a cooling effect on silicon-based electronics, but the challenge was to stick a thick layer of graphene to silicon chips.

“We have solved this problem by creating strong covalent bonds between the graphene film and the surface, which is an electronic component made of silicon,” Liu said.

Moreover, functionalisation using this kind of bonding doubles the thermal conductivity of the graphene.

“Increased thermal capacity could lead to several new applications for graphene. One example is the integration of graphene-based film into microelectronic devices and systems, such as highly efficient Light Emitting Diode, lasers and radio frequency components for cooling purposes,” Liu said.

“Graphene-based film could also pave the way for faster, smaller, more energy efficient, sustainable high power electronics,” he said.

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