Organic Conjugated Small Molecules with High Thermal Conductivity as an Effective Coupling Layer for Heat Transfer

DQ Liu and ST Wang and JJ Zhang and JH Zeng and M Han and YM Yao and JB Xu and XL Zeng and R Sun, ACS APPLIED MATERIALS & INTERFACES, 15, 54818-54828 (2023).

DOI: 10.1021/acsami.3c12927

As the features of electronics are miniaturized, the need for interfacial thermal coupling layers to enhance their thermal transfer efficiency and improve device performance becomes critical. Organic conjugated small molecules possess a unique combination of periodic crystal structures and conjugated units with pi electrons, resulting in notable thermal conductivities and molecular structure orientation that facilitates directed heat transfer. Nevertheless, there is a noticeable gap in literatures regarding the thermal properties of organic conjugated small molecules and their potential applications in nanoscale thermal management. Herein, we report the fabrication of high-quality thin films of organic conjugated small molecules. The result reveals that the 2D organic conjugated small molecule thin films exhibit a high cross-plane thermal conductivity of 3.2 W/m K. The increased thermal conductivity is attributed to the well-organized lattice structure and existence of pi-electrons induced by conjugated systems. The studied conjugated small molecules engage in pi-pi stacking interactions with carbon materials and efficiently exchange energy with electrons in metals, promoting rapid interfacial heat transfer. These molecules act as coupling layers, significantly enhancing thermal transfer efficiency between graphite-based thermal pads and copper heat sinks. This pioneering research represents the inaugural investigation of the thermal performance of conjugated organic small molecules. These findings highlight the potential of conjugated small molecules as thermal coupling layers, offering tunable combinations of desirable properties.

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