OCZ Displays Carbon Nanotube Cooler
June 9, 2007 3:26 AM
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The OCZ Hydrajet cooler, featured upside-down to reaveal the carbon nanotube conductor. (Source DailyTech, Anh Huynh)
The OCZ Hydrojet cooler uses an advanced heatsink material
The first heatsink to make use of directional carbon nanotubes, the OCZ Hydrojet, was on display at Computex 2007. Carbon nanotubes, an allotrope of carbon, are widely regarded as the next major thermal interface material because of their superior thermal conduction properties.
The contact base of the OCZ Hydrojet is made completely of carbon-nanotubes, which OCZ claims are five times more efficient than copper. Carbon nanotubes have been looked upon as a strong alternative to traditional copper based heatsinks. They are ideal for application in heat transfer products because of their impressive heat-conduction properties. Carbon nanotube based interfaces have been shown to conduct more heat than conventional thermal interface materials at the same temperatures. In addition, they have shown to be ballistic conductors at room temperature, which means electrons can flow through CNTs without collisions.
Carbon nanotubes are small wire-like structures made out of a sheet of graphene. The sheet of graphene used to construct CNTs is roughly one-atom thick, and is rolled up into a cylinder. The diameter of the cylinder ranges in the nanometers.
Unlike most other thermal materials, carbon nanotubes are able to move heat in one direction. On the other hand, copper, which is looked upon as one of the more superior thermal materials, moves heat radially. In the case of CNTs, heat is moved along the alignment of the nanotubes.
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RE: needs some work
6/10/2007 12:49:21 PM
While that's true, there will be differences between pumped fluids and solid copper. If you had your baseplate connected to the radiator by a solid piece of copper, your only means of transporting the heat is conduction. Even with an infinite radiator (the radiator is at ambient temp), you'd still have a temp difference between base and radiator caused by the heat transfer coefficient of the material. Vastly simplified, with fluids you have the baseplate heating a small volume of water, that water then moves to the radiator, where it gets dissipated. Very little temperature difference between radiator and baseplate.
That's kind of the same mechanism as heatpipes, although they uses the evaporation and condensation of the liquid to transfer heat, and are not pumped.
RE: needs some work
6/10/2007 1:37:23 PM
True. Like I said in my last paragraph, the more efficient the heatsink is, the bigger the difference. My point was that water as a transport is not the
reason why water cooling is effective. Nowadays the heat generated by CPU's can be pretty easily handled with heatpipes. At >200W heat loads water cooling starts to show its power.
Water cooling has also another benefit. Usually the heat is exhausted out of the case compared to traditional air cooling. Air cooling can not be as effective if the ambient temperature is >30C compared to water ~20C (room temperature).
RE: needs some work
6/11/2007 10:06:32 AM
My point was that water as a transport is not the main reason why water cooling is effective.
This is not completely correct. The water is a big reason why water cooling is more efficient. While copper absorbs heat better than aluminum, it does not release the heat as easily. Water acts as an intermediate between the two. In most cases, water can pull the heat off the copper plate a lot better than aluminum keeping efficiency high. The water then travels to the radiator where the larger surface area of the aluminum dissipates the heat much more quickly than the copper.
Water allows both materials to work more efficiently together.
Now, I wouldn't mind seeing a carbon nanotube based waterblock. The results from that would definitely be interesting. It absorbs and releases heat more efficiently than copper and would be very well suited to replace it as the base material in a waterblock.
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