Monday, April 16, 2018

400 Million Year Evolution of the Electronic Cooling System


 Photo: iStockphoto
  
The electronic cooling process has taken inspiration from nature to evolve and improve. One example can be found in springtails, tiny insects that have evolved water-repellent skin over millions of years. This feature enables breathing in damp soil when it is flooded by rainwater. Damena Agonafer of Washington University and his colleagues have recently published a study outlining a porous membrane design based on this surface.

Increasing the efficiency of cooling technology is one strategy to decrease the electronic footprint. Furthermore, a more efficient system becomes necessary as users expect smaller but more powerful computing devices. 

Previous cooling designs incorporating a dielectric liquid have created a potential risk of flooding electronic components. However the unique geometric feature presented by the springtail-based design is able to successfully contain the dielectric liquid. To address more challenging conditions, Agonafer estimates that about three or four years of continued development is required before the membrane design will be able to be implemented into commercial technologies.


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