A handful of technological quandaries are keeping our small, yet powerful gadgets from becoming even smaller and powerful; one of those issues -- as any iPad or Asus Transformer Prime owner can tell you --
is heat dissipation
. The copper technology found in most modern day doo-dads just ain't cutting it anymore. Fortunately, an NC State researcher has devised a new way to cool down hot electronics 25 percent faster than existing technology -- and at a lower price, to boot.
PC gaming lovers will understand the basics of the new cooling tech: it's basically a glorified heatsink. The heat spreader developed by materials science engineer Dr. Jag Kasichainula is made from a copper-graphene composite and attaches to
<insert electronic device here>
using an indium-graphene film. The combined forces of the heat spreader and film have a thermal conductivity that's 25 percent more efficient than copper alone, and thanks to the relative lack of that oh-so-expensive copper, creating the graphene-saturated tech costs less than traditional copper-based cooling methods.
It's fairly slim, too, with just 200 micrometers worth of material needed. Some quick Google Fu shows that to be 0.2 millimeters thick.
The full paper was published in a metallurgical materials trade publication, but
NC State has a handy-dandy abstract up on their website