Scientists use graphene foam to create a "temperature switch"

World Health:Current commercial batteries are relatively delicate and can only operate normally within a certain temperature range. If the temperature is too low, then it ...

Aug 21,2021 | Josie

Scientistsusegraphenefoamtocreatea"temperatureswitch"

Current commercial batteries are relatively "delicate" and can only operate normally within a certain temperature range. If the temperature is too low, then it may not be activated, while the temperature is too high, there may be a risk of explosion. Scientists recently developed a temperature switch (made of graphene foam) is expected to solve this problem. It can dynamically trap heat when the weather is cold or allow heat to escape when the temperature is too high.

Scientist

Lithium-ion batteries are currently only recommended for use between 0-45 degrees Celsius (32 to 113 Fahrenheit), especially when charging, and anywhere outside that range you risk degrading the battery's performance. Preventing components from overheating is a constant battle that affects the design of electronic devices, which themselves release a lot of heat. But trapping that heat in the device can be useful when the external temperature drops. As electronic devices become smaller and more powerful, managing heat becomes a more critical issue," said the study's co-corresponding author. Most devices use passive thermal management, such as conduction and convection, to move excess heat. But such systems are not tunable or adjustable and are completely unhelpful in cold conditions."

graphene

Now, researchers at Purdue University have developed a way to deal with both. The key is graphene, which is usually a remarkable material consisting of sheets of carbon only one atom thick. It is normally an excellent conductor of heat, but because graphene foam has gas pockets inside, it acts like an insulator. So the team used this dual nature to create a layer that can switch back and forth between insulator and conductor.

It functions like a resistor in a circuit," said the study's co-corresponding author. Instead of changing the flow of current, it changes the amount of heat it allows to pass through." In another experiment, the team simulated real-world ambient temperatures between 0 and 30°C (32 and 86°F) by placing graphene foam on a heat source in a simulated electronic device. The results were equally promising, stabilizing the device's operating temperature over the entire ambient temperature range.

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