Device overheating: Australia may have the solution

Christine McGinn
(Australian Associated Press)


A team of Australian scientists have helped develop a thermally conductive and chemically stable material to tackle overheating issues in technological devices.

Scientists at Deakin University’s Institute for Frontier Materials, partnered with experts in Northern Ireland and Japan, to shave down the chemical compound boron nitride to an atomically-thin level, and permeated the material with the desired flexibility.

The experts also increased its thermal conductivity and cooling capabilities.

“Atomically thin BN (boron nitride) has better thermal conductivity than most semiconductors and insulators, along with low density, outstanding strength, high flexibility and stretchability, good stability, and excellent impermeability, making them a promising material for heat dissipation on next-generation devices,” researcher Dr Luhua Li said.

“This is a fundamental breakthrough, and with time and further research it will help to open up the boundaries of what’s possible in electronic devices – particularly as the trend in next-generation electronics will most likely need to be flexible.”

Dr Li said thermal cooling would become more critical in emerging technology such as foldable phones, micro-machines and wearable devices.

Scientists want to find alternatives to aluminium and copper, which are conductive, he added.

The experts spent more than two years on the process and another seven years to understand the intrinsic properties of the material.

The results of their work have been published in the academic journal Science Advances.


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