U of T Engineering researchers, working with colleagues from Carnegie Mellon University, have published new insights into how materials transfer heat, which could lead eventually to smaller, more powerful electronic devices.
Integrated circuits and other electronic parts have been shrinking in size and growing in complexity and power for decades. But as circuits get smaller, it becomes more difficult to dissipate waste heat. For further advances to be made in electronics, researchers and industry need to find ways of tracking heat transfer in products ranging from smart phones to computers to solar cells.
Dan Sellan and Professor Cristina Amon, of U of T's Mechanical and Industrial Engineering department, investigated a new tool to measure the thermal and vibrational properties of solids. Working with colleagues from Carnegie Mellon University, they studied materials in which heat is transferred by atomic vibrations in packets called phonons. Their results were recently published in Nature Communications.
"In an analogy to light, phonons come in a spectrum of colors, and we have developed a new tool to measure how different color phonons contribute to the thermal conductivity of solids," said Jonathan Malen, an assistant professor of Mechanical Engineering at CMU.
According to the researchers, the new tool will give both industry and academia a clearer picture of how an electronic device's ability to dissipate heat shrinks with its size, and how materials can be structured at the nanoscale to change their thermal conductivity.
For example, in the initial demonstration, the team showed that as silicon microprocessors continue to shrink, their operating temperatures will be further challenged by reduced thermal conductivity.
"Our modeling work provides an in-depth look at how individual phonons impact thermal conductivity," said Sellan, who undertook his research as a PhD Candidate in Professor Amon's lab. Currently an NSERC Postdoctoral Fellow at The University of Texas at Austin, Sellan is developing experimental techniques for thermal measurements.
Professor Amon, who is also Dean of the Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering at U of T, said Sellan's insights will allow researchers to design nanostructured thermoelectric materials with increased efficiency in converting waste heat to electrical energy. This work has exciting implications for the future of nano-scale thermal conductivity research."
University of Toronto Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering: http://www.engineering.utoronto.ca/home.htm
This press release was posted to serve as a topic for discussion. Please comment below. We try our best to only post press releases that are associated with peer reviewed scientific literature. Critical discussions of the research are appreciated. If you need help finding a link to the original article, please contact us on twitter or via e-mail.
Drones are being used to capture video footage that shows construction progress at the Sacramento Kings’ new stadium in California.
It’s becoming increasingly difficult to keep track of online reading material. That’s why physical print-outs sometimes trump a digital copies
Websites try to suggest everything from your next best friend to your next best shirt. But are these recommendations a help or a hindrance?
A new app called Infltr taps into a smartphone's graphics processor to generate filters on the fly, allowing for the perfect shot in one step
Windows 95, the operating system update that changed the way millions of people interacted with their computers, was released 20 years ago today.
Atmospheric CO2 can be turned into carbon nanofibres for high-tech uses a method that may also hold promise for profitable carbon capture
Atlas, a humanoid robot, can run on natural terrains such as soil and rocks. Here it is seen navigating through woodland and jogging along a nature trail. This promotional film from Atlas’s maker Boston Dynamics, owned by Google’s parent company Alphabet, is narrated by company founder Marc Railbert and formed part of the FAB 11 conference at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Investors see riches in a cryptography-enabled technology called smart contracts–but it could also offer much to criminals.
A California automotive start-up is hoping their prototype supercar will redefine car manufacturing. The sleek race car dubbed 'Blade' didn't come off an assembly line - but out of a 3D printer.
Technology could create -- or stop -- a disaster in the sky