Today’s major consumer electronics brands are expected to continue to develop faster, cheaper, and more powerful devices that are thinner and lighter than ever. Boosting computing performance in smaller packages, however, presents a number of challenges for OEMs, particularly when it comes to heat spreading. Managing heat is a critical factor that can affect the speed, efficiency, and reliability of today’s advanced devices.
These state-of-the-art designs and advanced technological requirements have made flexible graphite the industry standard for thermal management in consumer electronics. Yet, rising performance standards are making it harder for even the standard synthetic graphites to satisfactorily spread the heat.
A Quick Comparison of Graphite Heat Spreaders
The graphene layers that make up either natural or synthetic graphite provide excellent thermal, electrical, and acoustic spreading in the plane of materials while providing reduced spreading through the thickness of materials. This produces anisotropic thermal spreading in the plane at approximately 100 to 450 times more than through the plane. This characteristic is significant because it enables graphite to reduce surface touch temperatures of products and to protect sensitive components from hot components and overall heat.
There are two types of flexible graphite heat spreaders used by manufacturers, natural and synthetic:
Natural graphite is between 40µm and 1000µm thick and ranges in thermal conductivity from 300 to 600 W/m·K. Since natural graphite is typically thicker than synthetic, it can spread more heat but does so at lower thermal conductivity values.
Synthetic graphite is a thinner solution than natural graphite, typically ranging between 10µm and 100µm. Its thermal conductivity is much higher than natural graphite, ranging from between 700 (at 100µm) and 1950W/m·K (at 10µm)
The characteristics of synthetic graphite make it ideal for effectively managing heat spreading in many consumer electronics. The industry standard is to use synthetic graphite that is 17µm, 25µm, 32µm, 40µm, or 50µm thick for heat spreading applications.
As devices have become more powerful, however, one layer of synthetic graphite often cannot achieve required thermal specifications. The common solution to this problem has been to laminate multiple layers of synthetic graphite together using adhesive films. While this creates a thicker heat spreader that can maintain high thermal conductivity, using multiple layers presents unique challenges.
NeoNxGen™: Increase the Thermal Performance, Not the Layers
Challenges presented by the multi-layer approach to heat spreading require a new, single layer solution that is thicker than traditional synthetic graphites yet offers the same high thermal conductivity. NeoGraf’s™ NeoNxGen™ is such a solution. NeoNxGen is a monolayer graphite that provides the most desired features of a multilayer synthetic. It is a high performing, cost effective solution that achieves better thermal conductance than synthetic graphite, natural graphite, and metallic solutions.
NeoNxGen’s Unique Features & Benefits Include:
- Current thicknesses between 80µm and 300µm, with thermal conductivities between 900 and 1150W/m·K
- Reduced material losses due to roll splices and misalignment
- Fewer quality concerns created by bubbles, wrinkles, delamination, and contamination produced by multi-layering
- Lower costs due to the elimination of lamination, adhesive tape application, and multiple quality inspections
- Easier handling and forming to complex shapes while maintaining flexibility
NeoNxGen is manufactured in rolls and can be die-cut and laminated with industry standard plastics and/or adhesives.
As a monolayer graphite, NeoNxGen is the most cost-effective thermal management solution on the market for today’s most powerful consumer electronics.
NeoGraf’s global team of application engineers specialize in the development and manufacture of high quality flexible natural and synthetic graphite material solutions for today’s advanced, high tech devices. Are you looking for a thinner, more powerful material that can achieve better heat spreading? Contact us today to learn how NeoNxGen is the right thermal management solution for your application.