Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Novel material for cooling of electronic devices discovered

Date:
July 29, 2013
Source:
Naval Research Laboratory
Summary:
As microelectronic devices become smaller, faster and more powerful, thermal management becomes a critical challenge. This research provides new insight into the nature of thermal transport at a quantitative level.

Schematic of thermal management in electronics: Local temperature increases occur as a result of current flow in active regions of devices and can lead to degradation of device performance. Materials with high thermal conductivities are used in heat spreading and sinking to conduct heat from the hot regions.
Credit: Photo: U.S. Naval Research Laboratory

A team of theoretical physicists at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) and Boston College has identified cubic boron arsenide as a material with an extraordinarily high thermal conductivity and the potential to transfer heat more effectively from electronic devices than diamond, the best-known thermal conductor to date.

Related Articles


As microelectronic devices become smaller, faster, and more powerful, thermal management is becoming a critical challenge. This work provides new insight into the nature of thermal transport at a quantitative level and predicts a new material, with ultra-high thermal conductivity, of potential interest for passive cooling applications.

Calculating the thermal conductivity of cubic III-V boron compounds using a predictive first principles approach, the team has found boron arsenide (BAs) to have a remarkable room temperature thermal conductivity, greater than 2,000 Watts per meter per degree Kelvin (>2000 Wm-1K-1). This is comparable to those in diamond and graphite, which are the highest bulk values known.

Unlike metals, where the electrons carry the heat, diamond and boron arsenide are electrical insulators. For the latter type of materials heat is carried by vibrational waves (phonons) of the constituent atoms, and intrinsic resistance to heat flow results from these waves scattering from one another. Diamond is of interest for cooling applications but it is scarce and its synthetic fabrication suffers from slow growth rates, high costs, and low quality. However, little progress has been made to date in identifying new high thermally conductive materials.

Historically, fully microscopic, parameter-free computational materials techniques have been more advanced for electronic properties than for thermal transport.

"In the last few years with contributions from the NRL team, 'ab initio' quantitative techniques have been developed for thermal transport," said Dr. Thomas L. Reinecke, physicist, Electronics Science and Technology Division. "These techniques open the way to a fuller understanding of the key physical features in thermal transport and to the ability to predict accurately the thermal conductivity of new materials."

These surprising findings for boron arsenide result from an unusual interplay of certain of its vibrational properties that lie outside of the guidelines commonly used to estimate the thermal conductivity of electrical insulators. These features cause scatterings between vibrational waves to be far less likely than is typical in a certain range of frequencies, which in turn allows large amounts heat to be conducted in this frequency range.

"If these exciting results are verified by experiment, it will open new opportunities for passive cooling applications with boron arsenide, and it would demonstrate the important role that such theoretical work can play in providing guidance to identify new high thermal conductivity materials," Reinecke says.

Thermal conductivity calculations from this group are in good agreement with available experimental results for a wide range of materials. The team consisted of Drs. Lucas Lindsay and Tom Reinecke at NRL and Dr. David Broido at Boston College.

This research, supported in part by the Office of Naval Research (ONR) and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), gives important new insight into the physics of thermal transport in materials, and it illustrates the power of modern computational techniques in making quantitative predictions for materials whose properties have yet to be measured.


Story Source:

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


Cite This Page:

Naval Research Laboratory. "Novel material for cooling of electronic devices discovered." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 29 July 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/07/130729133133.htm>.
Naval Research Laboratory. (2013, July 29). Novel material for cooling of electronic devices discovered. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/07/130729133133.htm
Naval Research Laboratory. "Novel material for cooling of electronic devices discovered." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/07/130729133133.htm (accessed December 18, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Matter & Energy News

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Navy Unveils Robot Fish

Navy Unveils Robot Fish

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Dec. 18, 2014) The U.S. Navy unveils an underwater device that mimics the movement of a fish. Tara Cleary reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
3D Printed Cookies Just in Time for Christmas

3D Printed Cookies Just in Time for Christmas

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 18, 2014) A tech company in Spain have combined technology with cuisine to develop the 'Foodini', a 3D printer designed to print the perfect cookie for Santa. Ben Gruber reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ford Expands Air Bag Recall Nationwide

Ford Expands Air Bag Recall Nationwide

Newsy (Dec. 18, 2014) The automaker added 447,000 vehicles to its recall list, bringing the total to more than 502,000. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Sony Hopes To Make Any Glasses 'Smart'

How Sony Hopes To Make Any Glasses 'Smart'

Newsy (Dec. 17, 2014) Sony's glasses module attaches to the temples of various eye- and sunglasses to add a display and wireless connectivity. Video provided by Newsy
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

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