Sand in Your Computeradmin
Sand in your computer? It may call to mind shovels full of beach sand poured into your tower, but fear not, the sand we’re talking about today is a special engineered sand. Silicon dioxide nanoparticles coated with a polymer that’s high dielectric constant. The unique surface of which provides inexpensive cooling as our devices get more advanced, do more and thus consume more power.
The report published in the journal Materials Horizon talks about this new class of more efficient materials.
“We have shown for the first time that you can take a packed nanoparticle bed that would typically act as an insulator, and by causing light to couple strongly into the material by engineering a high dielectric constant medium like water or ethylene glycol at the surfaces, you can turn the nanoparticle bed into a conductor,” said Baratunde Cola, an associate professor in the Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology. “Using the collective surface electromagnetic effect of the nanoparticles, the thermal conductivity can increase 20-fold, allowing it to dissipate heat.”
“You could basically take an electronic device, pack these ethylene glycol-coated nanoparticles in the air space, and it would be useful as a heat dissipation material that at the same time, won’t conduct electricity,” said Cola. “The material has the potential to be very inexpensive and easy to work with.”
Further testing to ensure no impact on the reliability of devices it’s cooling is needed but the potential is exciting. You can read more about this report here.