Cooling electronics efficiently with graphene-enhanced heat pipes

December 03, 2020

Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, have found that graphene-based heat pipes can help solve the problems of cooling electronics and power systems used in avionics, data centres, and other power electronics.

"Heat pipes are one of the most efficient tools for this purpose, because of their high efficiency and unique ability to transfer heat over a large distance," says Johan Liu, Professor of Electronics Production, at the Department of Microtechnology and Nanoscience at Chalmers.

The results, which also involved researchers in China and Italy, were recently published in the scientific Open Access journal Nano Select.
https://doi.org/10.1002/nano.202000195

Electronics and data centres need to be efficiently cooled in order to work properly. Graphene enhanced heat pipes can solve these issues. Currently, heat pipes are usually made of copper, aluminium or their alloys. Due to the relatively high density and limited heat transmission capacity of these materials, heat pipes are facing severe challenges in future power devices and data centres.

Large data centres that deliver, for example, digital banking services and video streaming websites, are extremely energy-intensive, and an environmental culprit with greater emissions than the aviation industry. Reducing the climate footprint of this industry is therefore vital. The researchers' discoveries here could make a significant energy efficiency contribution to these data centres, and in other applications too.

The graphene enhanced heat pipe exhibits a specific thermal transfer coefficient which is about 3.5 times better than that of copper-based heat pipe. The new findings pave the way for using graphene enhanced heat pipes in lightweight and large capacity cooling applications, as required in many applications such as avionics, automotive electronics, laptop computers, handsets, data centres as well as space electronics.

The graphene enhanced heat pipes are made of high thermal conductivity graphene assembled films assisted with carbon fibre wicker enhanced inner surfaces. The researchers tested pipes of 6mm outer diameter and 150mm length. They show great advantages and potential for cooling of a variety of electronics and power systems, especially where low weight and high corrosion resistance are required.

"The condenser section, the cold part of the graphene enhanced heat pipe, can be substituted by a heat sink or a fan to make the cooling even more efficient when applied in a real case," explains Ya Liu, PhD Student at the Electronics Materials and Systems Laboratory at Chalmers.
-end-
The new study is based on a collaboration between researchers from Chalmers University of Technology, Fudan University, Shanghai University, China, SHT Smart High-Tech AB, Sweden and Marche Polytechnic University, Italy.

For further information, contact:

Ya Liu,
PhD Student,
Electronics Materials and Systems Laboratory (EMSL),
Department of Microtechnology and Nanoscience - MC2,
Chalmers University of Technology,
Gothenburg, Sweden,
yaliu@chalmers.se

Johan Liu,
Professor,
Electronics Materials and Systems Laboratory (EMSL),
Department of Microtechnology and Nanoscience - MC2,
Chalmers University of Technology,
Gothenburg, Sweden,
johan.liu@chalmers.se

Read the full paper in Nano Select:
A lightweight and high thermal performance graphene heat pipe
https://doi.org/10.1002/nano.202000195

Chalmers University of Technology

Related Graphene Articles from Brightsurf:

How to stack graphene up to four layers
IBS research team reports a novel method to grow multi-layered, single-crystalline graphene with a selected stacking order in a wafer scale.

Graphene-Adsorbate van der Waals bonding memory inspires 'smart' graphene sensors
Electric field modulation of the graphene-adsorbate interaction induces unique van der Waals (vdW) bonding which were previously assumed to be randomized by thermal energy after the electric field is turned off.

Graphene: It is all about the toppings
The way graphene interacts with other materials depends on how these materials are brought into contact with the graphene.

Discovery of graphene switch
Researchers at Japan Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (JAIST) successfully developed the special in-situ transmission electron microscope technique to measure the current-voltage curve of graphene nanoribbon (GNR) with observing the edge structure and found that the electrical conductance of narrow GNRs with a zigzag edge structure abruptly increased above the critical bias voltage, indicating that which they are expected to be applied to switching devices, which are the smallest in the world.

New 'brick' for nanotechnology: Graphene Nanomesh
Researchers at Japan advanced institute of science and technology (JAIST) successfully fabricated suspended graphene nanomesh (GNM) by using the focused helium ion beam technology.

Flatter graphene, faster electrons
Scientists from the Swiss Nanoscience Institute and the Department of Physics at the University of Basel developed a technique to flatten corrugations in graphene layers.

Graphene Flagship publishes handbook of graphene manufacturing
The EU-funded research project Graphene Flagship has published a comprehensive guide explaining how to produce and process graphene and related materials (GRMs).

How to induce magnetism in graphene
Graphene, a two-dimensional structure made of carbon, is a material with excellent mechani-cal, electronic and optical properties.

Graphene: The more you bend it, the softer it gets
New research by engineers at the University of Illinois combines atomic-scale experimentation with computer modeling to determine how much energy it takes to bend multilayer graphene -- a question that has eluded scientists since graphene was first isolated.

How do you know it's perfect graphene?
Scientists at the US Department of Energy's Ames Laboratory have discovered an indicator that reliably demonstrates a sample's high quality, and it was one that was hiding in plain sight for decades.

Read More: Graphene News and Graphene Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.