Graphene thermal conductivity

Thermal transport in graphene is a thriving area of research, thanks to graphene's extraordinary heat conductivity properties and its potential for use in thermal management applications.

The measured thermal conductivity of graphene is in the range 3000 - 5000 W/mK at room temperature, an exceptional figure compared with the thermal conductivity of pyrolytic graphite of approximately 2000 W⋅m−1⋅K−1 at room temperature. There are, however, other researches that estimate that this number is exaggerated, and that the in-plane thermal conductivity of graphene at room temperature is about 2000–4000 W⋅m−1⋅K1 for freely suspended samples. This number is still among the highest of any known material.

Graphene is considered an excellent heat conductor, and several studies have found it to have unlimited potential for heat conduction based on the size of the sample, contradicting the law of thermal conduction (Fourier’s law) in the micrometer scale. In both computer simulations and experiments, the researchers found that the larger the segment of graphene, the more heat it could transfer. Theoretically, graphene could absorb an unlimited amount of heat.

The thermal conductivity increases logarithmically, and researchers believe that this might be due to the stable bonding pattern as well as being a 2D material. As graphene is considerably more resistant to tearing than steel and is also lightweight and flexible, its conductivity could have some attractive real-world applications.

But what exactly is thermal conductivity?

Heat conduction (or thermal conduction) is the movement of heat from one object to another, that has a different temperature, through physical contact. Heat can be transferred in three ways: conduction, convection and radiation. Heat conduction is very common and can easily be found in our everyday activities - like warming a person’s hand on a hot-water bottle, and more. Heat flows from the object with the higher temperature to the colder one.

Thermal transfer takes place at the molecular level, when heat energy is absorbed by a surface and causes microscopic collisions of particles and movement of electrons within that body. In the process, they collide with each other and transfer the energy to their “neighbor”, a process that will go on as long as heat is being added.



The process of heat conduction mainly depends on the temperature gradient (the temperature difference between the bodies), the path length and the properties of the materials involved. Not all substances are good heat conductors - metals, for example, are considered good conductors as they quickly transfer heat, but materials like wood or paper are viewed as poor conductors of heat. Materials that are poor conductors of heat are referred to as insulators.

How can graphene’s exciting thermal conduction properties be put to use?

Some of the potential applications for graphene-enabled thermal management include electronics, which could greatly benefit from graphene's ability to dissipate heat and optimize electronic function. In micro- and nano-electronics, heat is often a limiting factor for smaller and more efficient components. Therefore, graphene and similar materials with exceptional thermal conductivity may hold an enormous potential for this kind of applications.

Graphene’s heat conductivity can be used in many ways, including thermal interface materials (TIM), heat spreaders, thermal greases (thin layers usually between a heat source such as a microprocessor and a heat sink), graphene-based nanocomposites, and more.

Latest Graphene Thermal Conductivity news

Chinese company develops clothes made of unique graphene fibers

Jun 06, 2017

A Chinese company called Shanghai Kyorene New Material Technology has reportedly developed a graphene fiber, that has been used to produce clothes, sports wear and underwear products. One company that states it uses these fibers in actual commercial products is Armor Guys, a U.S-based glove maker.

Chinese graphene textile products image

The technology is said to make graphene completely integrated with high polymer materials under room temperature, and adds special function to ordinary textile products like antibacterial, ultraviolet-proof, anti-static and heat preservation effects.

Will graphene help with NASA's mission to get close to the sun?

May 30, 2017

NASA is getting set to announce its first mission to fly directly into the sun’s atmosphere during an event on Wednesday, May 31, 2017. The mission, Solar Probe Plus, is scheduled to launch in the summer of 2018.

Placed in orbit within four million miles of the sun’s surface, facing heat and radiation unlike any spacecraft in history, the vessel will explore the sun’s outer atmosphere and make observations that may answer questions that have long since plagued researchers.

The Graphene Catalog - find your graphene material here

China-based company completes biomass graphene production line

May 11, 2017

The China-based Shandong Longju New Materials Technology announced that it has completed the installation and commissioning of a pilot biomass graphene production line and has put it into operation.

According to the reports, the facility uses corncob waste to make few-layer biomass graphene (citing Ningbo Institute of Materials Technology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences' test results). The production line’s annual capacity is said to be five tons and is expected to increase to 300 tons.

G3 and Lanka Graphite enter agreement to develop graphene-enhanced products

Apr 19, 2017

Global Graphene Group (G3), a holding company for subsidiaries like Angstron Materials, has signed Heads of Agreement with Lanka Graphite, a graphite exploration company. The joint venture entity (LGR 50%, G3 50%) will develop a range of commercial graphene projects.

G3 is reportedly scaling a broad range of commercial platforms of graphene applications in several , areas like energy storage, coatings, and thermal management. Lanka Graphite will supply vein graphite product into the joint venture in addition to assisting with sourcing investment, marketing and administration. G3 proposes to supply its experience in developing IP and research grants, commercialization planning and manufacturing infrastructure.

JTX demonstrates its graphene filament LED lighting

Apr 16, 2017

JTX (officially Shandong Prosperous Star Optoelectronics Co) demonstrated its graphene-enhanced LED lighting bulbs at the Hong Kong lighting fair. These LED lighting devices use graphene coating that aid in heat dissipation and thus contribute to longer lifetime and better efficiency.

JTX graphene bulbs, Hongkong lighting fair 2017 photo

JTX is a relatively new company (established in May 2014 in China) that is involved with the entire LED lighting value chain (from LED chips and filaments to complete light bulbs). In July 2016 JTX was merged with Graphene Lighting PLC that developed the graphene lighting technology in collaboration with Manchester University and the NGI.

Versarien - Think you know graphene? Think again!Versarien - Think you know graphene? Think again!