Cooling microprocessor chips through the combination of carbon nanotubes and organic molecules as bonding agents is a promising technique for maintaining the performance levels of densely packed, high-speed transistors in the future.
From left, Brett Helms, Frank Ogletree and Sumanjeet Kaur at the Molecular Foundry used organic molecules to form strong covalent bonds between carbon nanotubes and metal surfaces, improving by six-fold the flow of heat from the metal to the carbon nanotubes. (Photo by Roy Kaltschmidt)
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Overheating is the bane of microprocessors. As transistors heat up, their performance can deteriorate to the point where they no longer function as transistors. With microprocessor chips becoming more densely packed and processing speeds continuing to increase, the overheating problem looms ever larger...