UCLA researchers in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace engineering have developed a novel thermal management material, boron phosphide (BP), that is highly thermally conductive and inexpensive to manufacture, with many desirable properties to integrate with existing electronics and photonics devices.
Thermal management is a major challenge for the electronics and photonics industries, as consumer products get smaller by generation. Excess heat built-up in small spaces can significantly impair device performance and cause permanent damage to products. Current solutions to thermal management in electronics include active cooling, using fans and air conditioners, as well as passive cooling, by incorporating materials with high thermal conductivity. Active cooling requires an additional power supply and devices, but materials with high thermal conductivity, such as diamond and boron nitride, are costly and difficult to integrate into electronic devices.
Researchers at UCLA have synthesized a novel material, boron phosphide (BP), for thermal management. This material can be synthesized to a high quality at a large scale and low cost. The innovative synthesis approaches include flux growth method, solution processing and floating zone furnace growth. The thermal conductivity of BP is 3 times higher than that of silicon, making it an excellent heat sink that can dissipate heat very quickly. Furthermore, the semiconducting behavior of BP makes it easy to integrate with photonics and electronics. This novel material has exceptional chemical refractory properties, high thermal stability, and a large elastic modulus. Therefore, BP is an ideal substrate for device fabrication and thermal interface material.
Boron Phosphide, Thermal conductive materials, Flux growth method, Solution processing, Floating zone furnace growth, Thermal management