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Scientists Create Polymer That Cools Hot Electronic Devices At 200 Degrees C

Update Date: Mar 31, 2014 09:30 AM EDT

Scientists through an aligned arrays of polymer nano-fibers, have developed a thermal interface material that is able to conduct heat 20 times better than the original polymer. The newly discovered material can easily operate at temperatures of up to 200 degrees Celsius. 

The new thermal interface material is expected to find its use in number of applications including drawing heat away from electronic devices in servers, automobiles, high-brightness LEDs and mobile devices. 

"Thermal management schemes can get more complicated as devices get smaller," said Baratunde Cola, an assistant professor in the George W. Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology in the press release. "A material like this, which could also offer higher reliability, could be attractive for addressing thermal management issues. This material could ultimately allow us to design electronic systems in different ways."

The new interface material has been created from a conjugated polymer, polythiophene. In this, aligned polymer chains in nano-fibers facilitate the transfer of phonons. 

"Polymers aren't typically thought of for these applications because they normally degrade at such a low temperature," Cola explained in the press release. "But these conjugated polymers are already used in solar cells and electronic devices, and can also work as thermal materials. We are taking advantage of the fact that they have a higher thermal stability because the bonding is stronger than in typical polymers."

The findings of the research has been published in the journal Nature Nanotechnology. 

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