New way to beat the heat in electronics: Rice …

New way to beat the heat in electronics: Rice University lab’s flexible insulator offers high strength and superior thermal conduction

A nanocomposite invented at Rice University’s Brown School of Engineering promises to be a superior high-temperature dielectric material for flexible electronics, energy storage and electric devices. A lab video shows how quickly heat disperses from a composite of a polymer nanoscale fiber layer and boron nitride nanosheets. When exposed to light, both materials heat up, but the plain polymer nanofiber layer on the left retains the heat far longer than the composite at right.


The nanocomposite combines one-dimensional polymer nanofibers and two-dimensional boron nitride nanosheets. The nanofibers reinforce the self-assembling material while the “white graphene” nanosheets provide a thermally conductive network that allows it to withstand the heat that breaks down common dielectrics, the polarized insulators in batteries and other devices that separate positive and negative electrodes.

The discovery by the lab of Rice materials scientist Pulickel Ajayan is detailed in Advanced Functional Materials.

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