1. Subscribersonhouse
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    08 Jul '13 11:25
    http://phys.org/news/2013-07-competitor-diamond-thermal-conductor.html

    Boron Arsenide, an unlikely candidate for thermal conductance now found to be better than diamond at higher than room temperature for conducting away heat, over 2000 watts per square meter per degree C!
  2. Cape Town
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    08 Jul '13 13:43
    The article says that diamond is currently used in computer chips to conduct heat. Is this every day CPU, or just some very expensive ones?
  3. Subscribersonhouse
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    08 Jul '13 14:04
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    The article says that diamond is currently used in computer chips to conduct heat. Is this every day CPU, or just some very expensive ones?
    There are versions of diamond that is manufactured by Chemical Vapor Deposition that coats a substrate with a diamond 'like' coating, usually using methane (CH4) as a reactive gas, where the C part gets deposited and the H part goes bye bye.

    So it does not have to be a real diamond. Real diamonds work quite well of course but it is a bit on the expensive side. But Boron Arsenide is going to be a LOT cheaper and work better at higher than room temperature than pure diamond so it is a win win situation for computer chips.
  4. Standard memberDeepThought
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    08 Jul '13 14:34
    Originally posted by sonhouse
    There are versions of diamond that is manufactured by Chemical Vapor Deposition that coats a substrate with a diamond 'like' coating, usually using methane (CH4) as a reactive gas, where the C part gets deposited and the H part goes bye bye.

    So it does not have to be a real diamond. Real diamonds work quite well of course but it is a bit on the expensive ...[text shortened]... igher than room temperature than pure diamond so it is a win win situation for computer chips.
    Boron Arsenide also has the handy property that it's self-healing under radiation (see the Wikipedia page), which makes it ideal for applications where space/radiation hardening is needed.
  5. Cape Town
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    08 Jul '13 14:39
    Originally posted by sonhouse
    There are versions of diamond that is manufactured by Chemical Vapor Deposition that coats a substrate with a diamond 'like' coating, usually using methane (CH4) as a reactive gas, where the C part gets deposited and the H part goes bye bye.
    Do you know how frequently it is used? Does my computers CPU use it?

    But Boron Arsenide is going to be a LOT cheaper and work better at higher than room temperature than pure diamond so it is a win win situation for computer chips.
    Cheaper than copper, or more expensive? Will it replace the heatsinks on top of the CPU too?

    The article you linked to also didn't make it clear whether or not this was a purely theoretical result. The end of the article suggested they hadn't even tested it.
  6. Subscribersonhouse
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    08 Jul '13 15:04
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    Do you know how frequently it is used? Does my computers CPU use it?

    [b]But Boron Arsenide is going to be a LOT cheaper and work better at higher than room temperature than pure diamond so it is a win win situation for computer chips.

    Cheaper than copper, or more expensive? Will it replace the heatsinks on top of the CPU too?

    The article you ...[text shortened]... was a purely theoretical result. The end of the article suggested they hadn't even tested it.[/b]
    I believe it was actual measurement which went against theory but this is just out of the labs so there will be more engineering work to be done to make it a viable product for the semiconductor industry. When it does get to CPU's and such, it will make a big difference on the performance of existing CPU technology.

    Diamonds are not used widely as of yet, still stuck to copper and fins and heat pipes.
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    08 Jul '13 15:12
    Originally posted by sonhouse
    I believe it was actual measurement which went against theory .....
    The article clearly states it is a theoretical result, what is less clear is whether it has been tested in practice. How difficult is it to test?
  8. Standard memberDeepThought
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    08 Jul '13 15:44
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    The article clearly states it is a theoretical result, what is less clear is whether it has been tested in practice. How difficult is it to test?
    The article also states that it's thermal conductivity has never been measured (last sentence of 5th paragraph). Their theoretical method has predicted the right numbers for other materials, so an experimental group should test their prediction for boron arsenide. You wouldn't have thought the experiment's that hard to do, I wonder if there's a reason no-ones ever measured it, possibly it's not that easy to manufacture.
  9. Subscribersonhouse
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    11 Jul '13 11:00
    Originally posted by DeepThought
    The article also states that it's thermal conductivity has never been measured (last sentence of 5th paragraph). Their theoretical method has predicted the right numbers for other materials, so an experimental group should test their prediction for boron arsenide. You wouldn't have thought the experiment's that hard to do, I wonder if there's a reason no-ones ever measured it, possibly it's not that easy to manufacture.
    It might be because of the form boron arsenide comes in. Just speculation, don't know for sure, but what if it comes out as a power, then it would have to be further processed before it could be tested for thermal effects.
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