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Nanocomposite Film Made with Electrospinning to Help Cool Off Electronics

As smart electronics get smaller and more potent, they produce a lot of heat, which can cause processing speeds to lag and induce unexpected shutdowns.

Small electronic devices could someday run cooler with a new composite material made with electrospinning. Image Credit: GaudiLab/

In the most recent issue of ACS Applied Nano Materials, researchers describe a novel nanocomposite film using an electrospinning technique. According to studies, the film was four times more effective at dissipating heat than similar materials, indicating that it could eventually be employed to keep electronics cool.

Electronics that are more compact and intelligent have altered many facets of life, including communication and medicine. However, as they get smaller, these devices concentrate heat in fewer spaces, which can slow down their performance or even compel them to abruptly shut down to avoid damage.

Researchers are using nanocomposite materials with a flexible polymer and a thermally conductive filler to disperse this heat. The process of electrospinning, in which a polymer and filler solution is injected from a syringe via an electrically charged nozzle to create fibers that accumulate into a thin film, is a straightforward technique to create nanocomposites.

While easy, electrospinning from a single solution, or uniaxial electrospinning, makes controlling the material’s characteristics challenging. So, Jinhong Yu, Sharorong Lu, and colleagues developed a two-solution approach known as coaxial electrospinning to optimize fiber design and heat dissipation in a new nanocomposite.

To create the new nanocomposite, the researchers created two solutions: one with the thermally conductive filler, a nanodiamond substance, and one with their chosen polymer, polyvinyl alcohol.

The researchers created fibers with a polyvinyl alcohol core and nanodiamond covering rather than a random distribution of the two components by attaching a syringe of each solution to a nozzle that mixed the two.

The coated fibers, according to the researchers, serve as a “highway” for heat to travel along and across the fibers throughout the film. In experiments, the new materials were four times more thermally conductive than previously reported nanocomposites and dispersed heat more effectively than those produced with the conventional nozzle.

According to the researchers, these coatings could one day be employed to keep small devices cool while they are working hard.

The Ministry of Education/Guangxi Key Laboratory of Optical and Electronic Materials and Devices and the Key Laboratory of New Processing Technology for Nonferrous Metal & Materials have both provided funding to the authors.

Journal Reference

Wei, Z., et al. (2023) Enhanced Thermal Conductivity of Nanodiamond Nanosheets/Polymer Nanofiber Composite Films by Uniaxial and Coaxial Electrospinning: Implications for Thermal Management of Nanodevices. ACS Applied Nano Materials. doi:10.1021/acsanm.3c00591.


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