Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology have developed an efficient way of cooling electronics by using functionalized graphene nanoflakes. This could come in handy as heat dissipation in electronics and optoelectronics is a major obstacle for the further development of systems in these fields.

According to the researchers, the method is a "golden key" with which to achieve efficient heat transport in electronics and other power devices by using graphene nanoflake-based film. This can open up potential uses of this kind of film in broad areas, and the team states that it is getting closer to pilot-scale production based on this discovery.

The researchers studied the heat transfer enhancement of the film with different functionalized amino-based and azide-based silane molecules, and found that the heat transfer efficiency of the film can be improved by over 76% by introducing functionalization molecules, compared to a reference system without the functional layer. This is mainly because the contact resistance was drastically reduced by introducing the functionalization molecules, and the results suggested potential thermal management solutions for electronic devices.

In the research, scientists studied a number of molecules that were immobilized at the interfaces and at the edge of graphene nanoflake-based sheets forming covalent bonds. They also probed interface thermal resistance by using a photothermal reflectance measurement technique to demonstrate an improved thermal coupling due to functionalization.

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