We've seen graphene promise some pretty slick tricks already: budget-minded bendable batteries, superior stain resistance, and upping ultracapacitors' energy density. We can now add self-cooling transistors to the list of awesome, yet unfulfilled possibilities for these microscopic sheets of carbon. Using an atomic force microscope, a team of researchers at the University of Illinois led by Professor William King discovered that graphene transistors have a thermoelectric cooling effect where they make their metal connections. This self-cooling is greater than the resistive heating that normally follows the flow of electrons -- meaning graphene-based electronics from the future could make their silicon competition look decidedly uncool in comparison.

HDTV Listings for April 4, 2011