New Material Conducts & Insulates Heat

German Scientists' Breakthrough Invention

Source:  Max Planck Institute

Potential Wide Applications
Scientists at the Max Planck Institute and the University of  Bayreuth in Germany have invented a transparent, extremely thin material that both conducts and insulates heat simultaneously.  That's a first.  The scientists say the first application is for the creation of high-performance LEDs.  But it could be even bigger than that.

Everyday Life Applications
Thermal insulation and thermal conduction are important to our everyday lives from heating our homes to computers, where it's important to dissipate heat as quickly as possible.  The new material has the potential of widespread impact as it both conducts and insulates heat at the same time.

Novel Breakthrough
The team made the material by manipulating how heat travels.  They stacked wafer thin plates of glass in layers and placed polymer chains between them.  The configuration cut the vertical emission of heat.  And, the heat within the layers conducted 40-times higher than the heat being transferred perpendicular to the plates.  The team is continuing to develop this breakthrough material.  They say it conducts heat extremely well in one direction and provides great thermal insulation in the other direction.  They just published their findings in Angewandte Chemie - International Edition.

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