Enhanced Cooling Performance of Three-Dimensional Printed Heat Sink via Solution-Processed Layer-by-Layer CNT Coatings

Chanho Song, Jaemin Lee, Byungseok Seo, Joon Hyung Shim, Run Hu, Wonjoon Choi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


3D printing technique offers lightweight, compact, and flexible thermal components that can be integrated into bendable and curved form factors. However, their low thermal conductivity of the polymer-based backbone structures degrades thermal performances, thereby demanding the rational solution to compensate heat transfer. Herein, a thermally functional coating of multiwalled carbon nanotubes (MWCNT) and polyethyleneimine (PEI) through a layer-by-layer (LbL) deposition process for a 3D-printed polymer heat sink (3DP-HS) is studied. The 3DP-HS is manufactured using the fused filament fabrication and can withstand bending and twisting while solution-processed LbL self-assembly deposits ultrathin MWCNT–PEI bilayers through stacking materials dissolved in positively and negatively charged solutions using electrostatic attraction. Compared with the flat polymer plate, the 3DP-HS validates the heat dissipation function, confirmed via the improved heat transfer coefficient. Furthermore, the LbL MWCNT–PEI bilayers highly increase the enhancement rate over 85% due to extended nanoporous areas and airflow mixing on the rough surface. Precise analyses of thermal performances for 10 and 30 MWCNT–PEI bilayers (≈120–180 nm in thickness) elucidate the proper LbL surfaces on HS, in accordance with heat generation levels. This work leads to developing a facile yet effective functional coating process for various 3D-printed thermal management components.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2300669
JournalAdvanced Engineering Materials
Issue number20
Publication statusPublished - 2023 Oct

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 Wiley-VCH GmbH.


  • 3D printing
  • carbon nanotube
  • cooling performance
  • layer-by-layer deposition
  • porous coating

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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