An international team of researchers, lead by a team at the University of Michigan, have discovered that Coulomb Interactions dissipate heat better than expected.
“The scientists demonstrated that the electrostatic interactions between electrically charged particles — known as Coulomb interactions — in different layers of multi-layered graphene offers a key mechanism for dispersing heat. This occurs despite the fact that all electronic states are strongly confined within individual 2D layers,” according to the IEEE Spectrum.
“We believe that this cooling mechanism is not limited to multilayer graphene samples but is likely to be important in many other new, layered nanomaterials under active development by the scientific community,” Theodore Norris, leader of the team’s research, said.
Researchers were surprised by how well built up heat in electrons traveled through the graphene layers.
Doctoral student at the University of Michigan, Momchil Mihnev, also explained that even though electrons in different layers cannot come into contact with each other, that they can still interact with one another through their electrical charges.
“When the negative charges repel each other, the electrons take on an effective size that extends between the layers. When the electrons come in contact with each other in this way, the hotter electrons transfer heat to the colder ones. This transfer of heat eventually channels down through the graphene towards the layer that is closest to the silicon carbide substrate the researchers used in these experiments. Once it gets to the final layer of graphene, the heat transfers into the silicon carbide,” Mihnev added.
The team has developed a theory on how and why this mechanism works. They believe this mechanism will be an important tool to keeping electronics cool in the near future.
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