Thermal Conductor Research Project Joined by UH Physicist

(July 21, 2016) University of Houston’s MD Anderson Professor and physicist, Zhifeng Ren, has joined the $7.5 million collaboration to develop a material with a higher conductivity than diamonds.

“Earlier research conducted in this field has anticipated the potential of boron arsenide to be a better thermal conductor than diamonds,” said Ren, “David Broido, a Boston College physicist, has theorized that the established industry standard of diamond’s thermal conductivity can be achieved by boron arsenide.”

Li Shi, who is a professor of mechanical engineering at the University of Texas, Austin and head of the research project, said that “Ren’s research team has been the first to record the boron arsenide’s thermal conductivity levels,” and that, “One single crystal has been made out of the material, at Ren’s laboratory, which started exploring it a year ago.”

“Though the crystal has flaws, it was able to achieve approximately 10% of Broido’s anticipated level, 200 watts/meter/Kelvin,” reported

A sum of $1.3 million has been granted to Ren to fund the exploration of the material in the form of thin films or single crystals, according to

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