As smart electronic devices become smaller and more powerful, they generate a lot of heat, which can lead to slow processing speeds and lead to unexpected shutdowns.
In the latest issue of ACS Applied Nano Materials, researchers describe a new nanocomposite film using the electrospinning technique. According to research, the film is four times more effective at dissipating heat than similar materials, suggesting it could eventually be used to keep electronics cool.
More compact and intelligent electronics have changed many aspects of life, including communications and medicine. However, as they get smaller, these devices concentrate heat in less space, which can slow down their performance or even force them to shut down suddenly to avoid damage.
The researchers used a nanocomposite material with a flexible polymer and a thermally conductive filler to disperse this heat. The electrospinning process, in which the polymer and filler solution is injected from a syringe through an electrically charged nozzle to create the accumulated fibers into a thin film, is a direct technique for making nanocomposites.
Despite this convenience, electrospinning from a single solution, or uniaxial electrospinning, makes controlling material characteristics difficult. So Jinhong Yu, Sharorong Lu and colleagues developed a two-solution approach known as coaxial electrospinning to optimize fiber design and heat dissipation in novel nanocomposites.
To create the new nanocomposite, the researchers created two solutions: one with a thermally conductive filler, nanodiamond substance, and another with their polymer of choice, polyvinyl alcohol.
The researchers created the fibers with a polyvinyl alcohol core and a nanodiamond covering rather than a random distribution of the two components by attaching a syringe of each solution to a nozzle that mixes the two.
The coated fibers, according to the researchers, serve as “highways” for heat to travel along and across the fibers throughout the film. In experiments, the new material was four times more thermally conductive than previously reported nanocomposites and dispersed heat more effectively than those produced with conventional nozzles.
According to the researchers, these coatings could one day be used to keep small devices cool while working hard.
The Ministry of Education/Guangxi Optical and Electronic Materials and Key Laboratory and the Key Laboratory of New Processing Technologies for Nonferrous Materials & Metals have both provided funding to the author.
Wei, Z., et al. (2023) Improvement of Thermal Conductivity of Nanodiamond Nanosheets/Polymer Nanofiber Composite Film by Uniaxial and Coaxial Electrospinning: Implications for Thermal Management of Nanodevices. ACS Applied Nanomaterials. doi:10.1021/acsanm.3c00591.