Keeping electronics cool is paramount whenever you are trying to get the best performance out of them, and when the electronics most fit in a small space. There are many methods of cooling, including liquid cooling systems. Reported in the American Chemical Society's journal Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research is research to find if nanofluids could be used to improve liquid cooling systems.
Nanofluids are liquids, like water, that contain metallic nanoparticles. Research has been done before to see if they could have a use for cooling electronics, but this new research is the first to consider what kinds of nanofluids may be best, and why. Starting with a microchannel heat sink to replicate operating electronics, the researchers used three different nanofluids to cool it, and measured certain properties. Specifically the researchers looked at how well the nanofluids transferred heat, how much energy they lost, the added friction, and their pumping power.
As it turned out, all three nanofluids performed better than water, with a nanofluid consisting of copper oxide and water doing the best overall. Of course more work will have to be done to identify what could be the best nanofluid for wide use, but this research starts us on the path to finding it.
Source: American Chemical Society