Graphene seems to be the new millennium's wonder material: it can be used to build more powerful processors, more efficient solar cells, better sounding headphones and, apparently, can even be deep-fried to create long-lasting batteries. Now, researchers at Rice University think that a "3D" variant of the material could change the way we cool our gadgets.
Normal graphene is already a pretty good heat conductor, but it has limitations--heat moves easily across the surface of stacked graphene, but not so well across the material's multiple layers. That problem, however, can be solved: according to simulations at Rice, creating 3D structures of white graphene with boron nitrade nanotubes can overcome these thermal limitations, allowing for unimpeded heat transfer in all directions.
In laymen's terms, that all means that this research could eventually lead to new, smaller, more efficient thermal solutions--making it possible for us to cool smaller and more powerful electronics in the future. Sounds good to me.
[Image Credit: Sharsavari, Rice University]