Behaviour of heat in electronic devices can improve their performance-Application of Fourier’s law


  • The metal lines heat up in a way that cannot be explained with the laws ruling heat behaviour in our everyday experience.
  • The researchers explained the experimental observations, showing that heat flow finds it difficult to make a sharp turn when going from metal to the substrate, similar to what would happen in a viscous fluid exiting a tube.
  • This phenomenon makes it more difficult for the metal line to cool, and therefore its temperature rises to values that cannot be explained with present day models.
  • During operation, the most active parts of an electronic device may accumulate high amounts of thermal energy in very localized zones, called Hot Spots.
  • This energy accumulation can be very detrimental to the correct functioning of the device, and represents a bottleneck limiting the performance of current processors.
  • This discovery paves the way to a better thermal management in electronic devices, since the proposed description represents a significative improvement over the models with which device engineers currently work, based on Fourier’s law.


The time rate of heat transfer through a material is proportional to the negative gradient in the temperature and to the area, at right angles to that gradient, through which the heat flows.


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