Oregon State University engineers have recently discovered a new way to make advanced electronics more efficient by inducing and controlling boiling bubble formations.
According to ScienceDaily.com, “The new approach is based on the use of piezoelectric inkjet printing to create hydrophobic polymer “dots” on a substrate, and then deposit a hydrophilic zinc oxide nanostructure on top of that. The zinc oxide nanostructure only grows in the area without dots. By controlling both the hydrophobic and hydrophilic structure of the material, bubble formation can be precisely controlled and manipulated for the desired goal.”
With this technology, researchers say they will be able to “control both boiling and condensation processes, as well as spatial bubble nucleation sites, bubble onset and departure frequency, heat transfer coefficient and critical heat flux for the first time,” which means it can be beneficial to either “boil water and create steam more readily, like in a boiler or a clothing iron; or with a product such as an electronics device to release heat more readily while working at a cooler temperature.”
Chih-hung Chang, a professor of electrical engineering in the OSU College of Engineering, said, “One of the key limitations for electronic devices is the heat they generate, and something that helps dissipate that heat will help them operate at faster speeds and prevent failure. […] The more bubbles you can generate, the more cooling you can achieve.”
“Advances in this technology have been published in Scientific Reports and a patent application filed,” reported ScienceDaily.com.
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