A new study, soon to be published in the pages of Polymer Testing journal, illustrates how a research team at Pusan National University, South Korea, led by Professor Chae Bin Kim, has developed an energy-efficient process for improve the thermal conductivity of polymer composites.
The importance of these elements is given by the fact that, thanks to their light and flexible nature, they are applied in the electronic field, between a heat source and a dissipator, to disperse the heat generated in the surrounding environment.
The optimal efficiency of this process is achieved through the use of “filling materials” (called fillers) with certain orientations that facilitate this heat flow. A process which, conventionally, is energy intensive, since it requires the use of electric/magnetic fields with surface modifications which can compromise the quality of the material and its thermal properties.
The professor. Kim and his team wanted to try to solve this problem by employing a method that makes use of thermophoresisa phenomenon in which a temperature gradient causes the movement or rotation of solid particles suspended in a fluid.
To prepare the polymer composite, the researchers put a suspension particles of fillers thermally conductive hexagonal boron nitride (h-BN) in a liquid capable of solidifying under UV rays, then coating it between two glass plates.
By then applying a temperature gradient along the thickness of the film, they allowed the filler particles to rotate, so that they could realign themselves along the applied temperature gradient. Once the desired orientations have been achieved, the composite was light curedconverting it into a solid composite with fixed filling orientations to form a heat dissipation path.
The professor. Kim enthused: “As far as we know, our current study it is the first experimental demonstration of the control of the orientation of the anisotropic filler by thermophoresis”.
“Our work has great potential because, with efficient heat dissipating materials, it will be possible obtain the best operating conditions for future devicesensuring greater reliability, duration and safety for the user”he added.
Speaking of new technologies, do you know what a quantum computer is? A device so powerful that it has already beaten the capabilities of traditional computers.
Image credits: Chae Bin Kim from Pusan National University