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[PHYS.org] Carbon Nanotubes: The Weird World of Remote Joule Heating

post #1 of 21
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University of Maryland scientists discovered that when electric current is run through carbon nanotubes, objects nearby heat up while the nanotubes themselves stay cool.
Quote:
"We believe that the nanotube's electrons are creating electrical fields due to the current, and the substrate's atoms are directly responding to those fields," Cumings explains. "The transfer of energy is taking place through these intermediaries, and not because the nanotube's electrons are bouncing off of the substrate's atoms. While there is some analogy to a microwave oven, the physics behind the two phenomena is actually very different."

Baloch adds that the remote Joule heating effect could have far reaching implications for computing technology. "What currently limits the performance of a computer's processor is the speed at which it can run, and what limits the speed is the fact that it gets too hot," he explains. "If you could find some way of getting rid of the waste heat more effectively, then it could run faster. A transistor that doesn't dissipate energy within itself as heat, like the nanotubes in our experiment, could be a game-changer. This new mechanism of thermal transport would allow you to engineer your thermal conductor and electrical conductor separately, choosing the best properties for each without requiring the two to be the same material occupying the same region of space."

http://phys.org/news/2012-04-carbon-nanotubes-weird-world-remote.html
Edited by dioxholster - 4/11/12 at 8:07pm
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post #2 of 21
Carbon Nanotubes. Gotta love them.

Just don't inhale them. Otherwise you'll end up like Cave Johnson. wink.gif
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post #3 of 21
I love carbon nanotubes, so many applications for such a unique construct.
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post #4 of 21
related to diamonds at all?
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post #5 of 21
Who discovered carbon nanotubes and did he/she/they receive a Nobel Prize?

And when will we mass produce those nanotubes? Such angst, I wan't better technology yessir.gif
post #6 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimbags View Post

related to diamonds at all?

Well, they're both made of an ordered carbon structure, but the structures are very different.

Interesting stuff though, silicon can only last us so long. It's good to see stuff like this.
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post #7 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by MME1122 View Post

Well, they're both made of an ordered carbon structure, but the structures are very different.
Interesting stuff though, silicon can only last us so long. It's good to see stuff like this.

Probably only a few more years until silicon won't be enough. tongue.gif
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post #8 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimbags View Post

related to diamonds at all?

Carbon.
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post #9 of 21
Interesting point about it being used as a transistor and being able to completely separate itself from heat.

rolleyes.gif I wonder if we could see perfectly efficient heatsinks in the near future.
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post #10 of 21
Have carbon nanotubes actually ever been used for something yet? Cause we've been seeing articles like this for years now talking about the potential of nanotubes, but we never actually see any articles talking about an actual product that uses nanotubes. Frankly I'm starting to feel a little cynical about this supposed wonder material that doesn't actually ever get used for anything.
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