EPFL researchers investigated heat dissipation in graphene and other two-dimensional materials, and have shown that heat can propagate as a wave over very long distances. This discovery can provide a valuable tool for for cooling down circuits at the nanoscale, and contribute to the efforts to replace silicon in next-gen electronics.
2D sheets behave in unexpected ways compared to 3D ones, and understanding the propagation of heat in them is a challenge. The EPFL researchers demonstrated that heat can propagate without significant losses in 2D even at room temperature, thanks to the phenomenon of wave-like diffusion, called "second sound". In that case, all phonons (vibrations of atomes) move together in unison over very long distances. This could be of great value for future electronic components that use 2D materials.