The work presented in the Nature Materials paper shows that the thermal conductivity of isotopically engineered graphene is strongly enhanced compared to graphene in its natural state.
Naturally occurring carbon materials, including graphene, are made up of two stable isotopes: about 99 percent of 12C (referred to as "carbon 12") and 1 percent of 13C (referred to as "carbon 13"). The difference between isotopes is in the atomic mass of the carbon atoms. The removal of just about 1 percent of carbon 13, also called isotopic purification, modifies the dynamic properties of crystal lattices and affects their thermal conductivity.
The importance of the present research is explained by practical needs for materials with high thermal conductivity. Heat removal has become a crucial issue for continuing progress in the electronics industry, owing to increased levels of dissipated power as the devices become smaller and smaller. The search for materials that conduct heat well has become essential for the design of the next generation of integrated circuits and three-dimensional electronics. Balandin, who is also founding chair of the materials science and engineering (MS&E) program at UC Riverside, believes graphene will gradually be incorporated into different devices.
Intially, it will likely be used in some niche applications such as thermal interface materials for chip packaging or transparent electrodes in photovoltaic solar cells or flexible displays, he said.
In a few years, it could be used with silicon in computer chips, for example as interconnect wiring or heat spreaders. It also has the potential to benefit other electro
|Contact: Sean Nealon|
University of California - Riverside