Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Graphene: Super-thin material advances toward next-generation applications

Date:
April 15, 2010
Source:
Boston College
Summary:
Graphene maintains its superior thermal conductivity even when supported by a substrate, according to new research. The findings by a team of researchers underscore graphene's potential role in the next generation of nano-electric devices.

A one-atom thick sheet of graphene (highlighted in the circular window) on top of a silicon dioxide support proves to be an excellent thermal conductor, according to new research published in the journal Science. Although the interaction with the silicon dioxide suppressed the thermal conductivity of graphene compared to its freestanding form, supported graphene still demonstrated much higher heat conducting capability than silicon and copper nanostructures. This finding combined with graphene's superior strength and electron mobility make it a promising candidate for use in next-generation nano-electronic devices.
Credit: University of Texas at Austin

The single-atom thick material graphene maintains its high thermal conductivity when supported by a substrate, a critical step to advancing the material from a laboratory phenomenon to a useful component in a range of nano-electronic devices, researchers report in the April 9 issue of the journal Science.

The team of engineers and theoretical physicists from the University of Texas at Austin, Boston College, and France's Commission for Atomic Energy report the super-thin sheet of carbon atoms -- taken from the three-dimensional material graphite -- can transfer heat more than twice as efficiently as copper thin films and more than 50 times better than thin films of silicon.

Since its discovery in 2004, graphene has been viewed as a promising new electronic material because it offers superior electron mobility, mechanical strength and thermal conductivity. These characteristics are crucial as electronic devices become smaller and smaller, presenting engineers with a fundamental problem of keeping the devices cool enough to operate efficiently.

The research advances the understanding of graphene as a promising candidate to draw heat away from "hot spots" that form in the tight knit spaces of devices built at the micro and nano scales. From a theoretical standpoint, the team also developed a new view of how heat flows in graphene.

When suspended, graphene has extremely high thermal conductivity of 3,000 to 5,000 watts per meter per Kelvin. But for practical applications, the chicken-wire like graphene lattice would be attached to a substrate. The team found supported graphene still has thermal conductivity as high as 600 watts per meter per Kelvin near room temperature. That far exceeds the thermal conductivities of copper, approximately 250 watts, and silicon, only 10 watts, thin films currently used in electronic devices.

The loss in heat transfer is the result of graphene's interaction with the substrate, which interferes with the vibrational waves of graphene atoms as they bump against the adjacent substrate, according to co-author David Broido, a Boston College Professor of Physics.

The conclusion was drawn with the help of earlier theoretical models about heat transfer within suspended graphene, Broido said. Working with former BC graduate student Lucas Lindsay, now an instructor at Christopher Newport University, and Natalio Mingo of France's Commission for Atomic Energy, Broido re-examined the theoretical model devised to explain the performance of suspended graphene.

"As theorists, we're much more detached from the device or the engineering side. We're more focused on the fundamentals that explain how energy flows through a sheet graphene. We took our existing model for suspended graphene and expanded the theoretical model to describe this interaction that takes place between graphene and the substrate and the influence on the movement of heat through the material and, ultimately, it's thermal conductivity."

In addition to its superior strength, electron mobility and thermal conductivity, graphene is compatible with thin film silicon transistor devices, a crucial characteristic if the material is to be used in low-cost, mass production. Graphene nano-electronic devices have the potential to consume less energy, run cooler and more reliably, and operate faster than the current generation of silicon and copper devices.

Broido, Lindsay and Mingo were part of a research team led by Li Shi, a mechanical engineering professor at the University of Texas at Austin, which also included his UT colleagues Jae Hun Seol, Insun Jo, Arden Moore, Zachary Aitken, Michael Petttes, Xueson Li, Zhen Yao, Rui Huang, and Rodney Ruoff.

The research was supported by the Thermal Transport Processes Program and the Mechanics of Materials Program of the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Office of Naval Research, and the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Boston College. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Jae Hun Seol, Insun Jo, Arden L. Moore, Lucas Lindsay, Zachary H. Aitken, Michael T. Pettes, Xuesong Li, Zhen Yao, Rui Huang, David Broido, Natalio Mingo, Rodney S. Ruoff, and Li Shi. Two-Dimensional Phonon Transport in Supported Graphene. Science, 2010; 328 (5975): 213 DOI: 10.1126/science.1184014

Cite This Page:

Boston College. "Graphene: Super-thin material advances toward next-generation applications." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 15 April 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/04/100408160850.htm>.
Boston College. (2010, April 15). Graphene: Super-thin material advances toward next-generation applications. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/04/100408160850.htm
Boston College. "Graphene: Super-thin material advances toward next-generation applications." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/04/100408160850.htm (accessed July 28, 2014).

Share This




More Matter & Energy News

Monday, July 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming

The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming

AP (July 28, 2014) AP Investigation: As the Obama administration weans the country off dirty fuels, energy companies are ramping-up overseas coal exports at a heavy price. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Europe's Highest Train Turns 80 in French Pyrenees

Europe's Highest Train Turns 80 in French Pyrenees

AFP (July 25, 2014) Europe's highest train, the little train of Artouste in the French Pyrenees, celebrates its 80th birthday. Duration: 01:05 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
TSA Administrator on Politics and Flight Bans

TSA Administrator on Politics and Flight Bans

AP (July 24, 2014) TSA administrator, John Pistole's took part in the Aspen Security Forum 2014, where he answered questions on lifting of the ban on flights into Israel's Tel Aviv airport and whether politics played a role in lifting the ban. (July 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Creative Makeovers for Ugly Cellphone Towers

Creative Makeovers for Ugly Cellphone Towers

AP (July 24, 2014) Mobile phone companies and communities across the country are going to new lengths to disguise those unsightly cellphone towers. From a church bell tower to a flagpole, even a pencil, some towers are trying to make a point. (July 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins