Dr. Jag Kasichainula, an associate professor of materials science and engineering at the North Carolina State University, has designed a low-cost, high-efficient cooling technique using graphene composite films to dissipate heat from electronic devices.
This novel technique is especially useful to cool devices that produce a large amount of heat, including power devices and lasers. In this technique, heat is dissipated from an electronic device using a copper-graphene composite-made ‘heat spreader,’ which is bonded to the device utilizing an indium-graphene interface film.
Dr. Kasichainula has reported about his technique in a paper titled ‘Thermal Conductivity of Copper-Graphene Composite Films Synthesized by Electrochemical Deposition with Exfoliated Graphene Platelets’ in Metallurgical and Materials Transactions B. The National Science Foundation funded the research work.
Dr. Kasichainula informed that since the thermal conductivity of both the indium-graphene and copper-graphene films is higher, the device can be cooled effectively. Thermal conductivity of a material is the rate at which it conducts heat. Indeed, Dr. Kasichainula discovered that the thermal conductivity of the copper-graphene film makes it to cool at a rate roughly 25% more rapidly than pure copper, which has been currently used for cooling most of the devices.
The reliability of an electronic device gets affected when it becomes too hot. Hence, it is necessary to dissipate heat from the device. The paper also discusses the production process for synthesizing the copper-graphene composite utilizing an electrochemical deposition method. Dr. Kasichainula stated that the copper-graphene composite is less expensive and can be produced easily. Copper is an expensive material, so the addition of graphene as a replacement for some amount of copper eventually reduces the overall cost, he said.