Composite Copper and Graphene to make a cool couple.

Subject: General Tech, Cases and Cooling | April 10, 2012 - 06:03 PM |
Tagged: graphene, cooling

Researchers at NC State University have tested the heat dissipation properties of copper-graphene. Their findings suggest that the material could be cheaper and more effective than pure copper.

Some people have gone to ridiculous lengths to cool their components. Some people flush their coolant regularly. Some people will never live down mineral oil jokes. No two computers are not on fire. Awwww.

Copper is regularly used as a method of dissipating heat as it is highly efficient when sufficiently pure. While copper is expensive, it is not expensive enough to be prohibitive for current use. Alternatives are still being explored and a researcher at NC State University believes graphene might be part of the answer.

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Some people stick a bathroom suction fan out a window and run a 3” drier hose into their case.

As always, I become immediately skeptical when a team of researchers make a claim such as this. Whether or not these issues are valid have yet to be seen, but they come to mind none-the-less. The paper claims that the usage is designed for power amplifiers and laser diodes.

My first concern is with geometry. Effective cooling is achieved by exposing as much surface area between two materials as is possible for the situation. Higher heat conductance allows heat to get away much more efficiently, but the heat still needs to be removed to a reservoir of some sort, such as your room. There has not been much talk about the possibilities to then remove the heat after copper-graphene so efficiently sucks from the heat source.

My second concern is with the second layer of indium-graphene. While it seems as though the amount of indium required is quite small -- just a single layer between the heat source and the copper-graphene -- we do not really know for certain how that relates to real world applications. Indium is still a very rare element which is heavily mined for touch screen devices. It might prove to be cheap, but there is only so much of it. Would we also be able to reclaim the Indium later, or will it end up in a landfill?

These concerns are probably quite minor but it is generally good practice to not get too excited when you see a research paper. Two points if you see any of the following: Nano, Graphene or Carbon Nanotubes, Lasers, and anything related to High-Frequency.

April 11, 2012 | 02:33 PM - Posted by Mechromancer (not verified)

That pic reminds me of my old PC setup, minus the hose. Using a home stereo as PC speakers was the best idea ever back in those days.

This cooling tech,if it truly is cost effect, seems pretty neat. Air cooling FTW!

April 11, 2012 | 06:04 PM - Posted by Scott Michaud

What you can't see was the 1970's Sony stereo behind me for the rear speakers : ) 4.0 Surround!

April 13, 2012 | 08:52 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

I think this is a nice rep of a lot of peoples rooms back in 92' hehe

April 13, 2012 | 01:03 PM - Posted by Scott Michaud

More like early '04 :p

May 7, 2012 | 11:28 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Back in '05 I had a metal dryer hose connected to my floor AC vent pushing cold/cool air from my ac during the summer. It worked like a beast!! Too bad I have a lappy now and cant affix it the same way lol.

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