Consumer Electronics

Between 2000 and 2005 [ref] computers reached a plateau in the processor clock speed, which had previously been an indication of processor speed. This plateau resulted from issues associated with heat transfer, specifically removing the heat generated in the processor fast enough to allow it to run at higher speeds.  As a result, heat dissipation (e.g., cooling) of microelectronics has become one of the most notable applications of heat transfer at small scales, specifically the heat transfer phenomena that manifest at the small micrometer to nanometer scale features inside the processor package itself. This problem has spotlighted interesting gaps in our understanding of the underlying physics at play in such applications, which has presented a significant barrier to developing innovative solutions to the problem. The ASE group develops and uses new techniques based on atomistic level simulations to improve our understanding of the physics. Ultimately if our research can enable faster computers the operate cooler and are more reliable.

Consumer Electronics