COOL CHIPS DISCLOSES APPLICATION OF QUANTUM MECHANICS IN HIGH-EFFICIENCY NANOTECH COOLING DEVICESRefers to COLCF and BOREF
Cool Chips plc
14 May 2002
Cool Chips plc (COLCF) said that its Cool Chips(tm), wafer-thin discs designed to produce cooling or refrigeration more efficiently than any competing technology, use quantum mechanical electron tunneling as the primary cooling mechanism. The Cool Chip is one of the first transformative technologies to emerge from the nanotechnology revolution.
The Cool Chip technology could eventually replace nearly every existing form of cooling, air conditioning, and thermal management. Prototype devices are being shown publicly for the first time at the Nanotech Planet Conference in San Jose, California, that begins today. The company has not previously disclosed the full scientific basis for its technology.
Because of the inherent advantages in cooling across a gap using electron tunneling, Cool Chips are projected to attain efficiencies much higher than those previously available in cooling systems, and they are much less than 10% of the size and weight of compressors. Cool Chips are modular, and can be packaged in arrays to cool virtually any size heat load.
The company expects its Cool Chip(tm) technology, which has been in development since 1994, to replace all thermoelectrics and compressors for cooling, in applications ranging from electronics and infrared sensors, to computer components, refrigeration, and air conditioning. Cool Chips are on target to have an overwhelming cost advantage.
Cool Chips will enable many new and improved consumer products. They will enable laptops to run cooler, for example, and make possible in-car soda and grocery coolers. A panel of Cool Chips one inch square will provide enough cooling for a refrigerator; a panel about two inches square will have the capacity to provide the air conditioning for a living room; and a panel about five inches square will supply enough cooling power to cool an entire house.
Most existing cooling systems use compressors and environment-damaging fluids and are 40-50% efficient. Smaller thermoelectric cooling devices, despite more than $1 billion spent on research, are only 8% efficient. Cool Chips are projected to operate at 70-80% of the maximum theoretical efficiency (Carnot) for cooling.
Cool Chips prototypes are small electronic devices similar in appearance to computer chips. When an electric current is applied, one side of the chip will become cold and the other side hot, as electrons "tunnel" across a 1-to-10 nanometre gap separating the two sides, carrying heat with them. Innate device advantages include high efficiency, solid-state design, silent operation, environmentally friendly materials and operation, and compact size for easy integration.
"We have demonstrated the capability to make multiple prototypes that show a tunneling current in excess of 10 amps, using a wafer area approximately 9 square cm in area," said Isaiah Cox, Cool Chips' president. "This is, by far, the largest tunneling current that has ever been reported across a gap, and we expect Cool Chips to make the first use of this quantum tunneling effect in a primary commercial application."
The tunneling current can be harnessed to provide cooling of very high density. The theoretical heat flux for flat electrodes suspended 50 Angstroms from each other is on the order of 5000 watts per square centimetre. Cool Chips(tm) will be more than adequate for cooling the next generation of microprocessors, which will produce upwards of 100 watts of heat per square centimetre.
Cool Chips are currently in development, and it is expected to take over a year to complete prototypes which demonstrate high output and efficiency. Current prototypes are being used to increase the quantum tunneling, and cooling has not been directly measured to date. Once the tunneling output has been increased to a certain level, our scientists intend to begin increasing cooling output.
An IV curve and other information is now available on the Cool Chips website at http://www.coolchips.gi.
The Cool Chips technology is protected by an extensive patent portfolio. This coverage extends to include a broad array of techniques related to this unique thermal management system, which offers solutions for nearly any thermal management application.
Cool Chips plc, based in Gibraltar, is a majority-owned subsidiary of Borealis Exploration Limited (BOREF) and has 7,281,785 shares outstanding. Borealis' business is reinventing the core technologies used by basic industries, including electric motors, steelmaking, electrical power generation, and cooling and thermal management.
For further information contact:
Director of Public Relations
Cool Chips plc
+44 20 8571 5216
Forward Looking Statement at http://www.coolchips.gi/fwdlook.shtml
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Forward Looking Statement may be found at http://www.coolchips.gi/fwdlook.shtml.