Thorny devil nanotextured fibers: The way to cooling rates on the order of 1 kW/cm2

S. Sinha-Ray, Y. Zhang, A. L. Yarin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

82 Citations (Scopus)


In the present work high-heat-flux surfaces, which should serve at temperatures of up to 200 °C, were covered by electrospun polymer nanofiber mats with thicknesses of about 30 μm. Then, four different metals were electroplated on separate polymer mats, namely, copper, silver, nickel, and gold. As a result, copper-plated nanofiber mats took on an appearance resembling that of a small Australian thorny devil lizard (i.e., they became very rough on the nanoscale) and acquired a high thermal diffusivity. Silver-plated nanofiber mats also became very rough because of the dendritelike and cactuslike nanostructures on their surfaces. However, nickel-plated nanofibers were only partially rough and their mats incorporated large domains of smooth nickel-plated fibers, and gold-plated nanofibers were practically smooth. Drop impacts on the hot surfaces coated with copper-plated and silver-plated nanofibers revealed tremendously high values of heat removal rates of up to 0.6 kW/cm2. Such high values of heat flux are more than an order of magnitude higher that the currently available ones and probably can be increased even more using the same technique. They open some intriguing perspectives for the cooling of high-heat-flux microelectronics and optoelectronics and for further miniaturization of such devices, especially for such applications as UAVs and UGVs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)215-226
Number of pages12
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2011 Jan 4

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Spectroscopy
  • Electrochemistry


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