A new discovery in the physics of heat transmission along nanowires could rewrite the models of heat transfer in current textbooks and bring major changes to the electronics industry.
Researchers at the National Taiwan University’s Center for Condensed Matter reportedly found ballistic thermal conduction by phonons at room temperature along silicon-germanium nanowires.
While ballistic transport has been observed before, it has typically only occurred in substances cooled to almost absolute zero—a requirement that made them commercially impractical, assistant researcher Chang Chih-wei said. Now, however, the successful display of the phenomenon using a common semiconductor and at room temperature could help to realize the development of heat waveguides, terahertz phononic crystals and quantum phononic/thermoelectric devices ready for integration into existing silicon-based electronics.
“This discovery could solve the heat dissipation problem for computers and other electronic devices,” Yang Pan-chyr, president of NTU, told national online news outlet Taiwan Today. He added that NTU has applied to patent the technology.
The research team’s findings are published in the journal Nature Nanotechnology.