Materials Science

Remote Heating

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Science  27 Apr 2012:
Vol. 336, Issue 6080, pp. 393
DOI: 10.1126/science.336.6080.393-d

The high electronic conductivity of carbon nanotubes and graphene could be exploited for delivering power to electronic devices. However, even these good conductors can undergo resistive or Joule heating, and despite their good thermal conductivity, dissipating the heat from a device may prove problematic—interfaces with other materials appear to have high interfacial thermal resistance. Baloch et al. show that when current flowed through a multiwalled carbon nanotube on a substrate (a silicon nitride membrane), 84% of the heating occurred in the underlying substrate. This remote Joule heating was driven by the electrical current coupling to vibrational modes in the membrane. These conclusions are based on modeling of thermal profiles determined by following the melting of indium overlayers on these devices with transmission electron microscopy.

Nat. Nano. 10.1038/NNANO.2012.39 (2012).

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