Acta Phys. -Chim. Sin. ›› 2022, Vol. 38 ›› Issue (1): 2101013.doi: 10.3866/PKU.WHXB202101013

Special Issue: Graphene: Functions and Applications

• REVIEW • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Recent Progress on Thermal Conduction of Graphene

Houfu Song1, Feiyu Kang1,2,3,*()   

  1. 1 Tsinghua-Berkeley Shenzhen Institute (TBSI), Tsinghua University, Shenzhen 518055, Guangdong Province, China
    2 Tsinghua Shenzhen International Graduate School, and Guangdong Provincial Key Laboratory of Thermal Management Engineering & Materials, Shenzhen 518055, Guangdong Province, China
    3 Shenzhen Geim Graphene Research Center, Tsinghua Shenzhen International Graduate School, Tsinghua University, Shenzhen 518055, Guangdong Province, China
  • Received:2021-01-07 Accepted:2021-02-08 Published:2021-02-25
  • Contact: Feiyu Kang
  • About author:Feiyu Kang. Email:
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With the irreversible trend of miniaturization and the pursuit of a high power density in electronic devices, heat dissipation has become crucial for designing next-generation electronic products. Graphene, which has the highest thermal conductivity among all discovered solid materials, has attracted attention from both academia and the industry. As a two-dimensional material with atom-scale thickness, graphene is suitable for investigating the phonon transport behavior at reduced dimensions. The mass production technique of graphene makes it a promising material for thermal management in consumer electronics, information technology, medical devices, and new energy automobiles. In this review, we summarize the recent progress on the thermal conduction of graphene. In the first part, we introduce the thermal conductivity measurement methods for graphene, including the optothermal Raman method, suspended-pad method, and time-domain thermoreflectance (TDTR) method. The thermal measurement of graphene with high accuracy is key to understanding the heat transfer mechanism of graphene; however, it is still a significant challenge. Despite the development of measurement methods, the thermal measurement of suspended single-layer graphene is limited by the graphene transfer technique, estimation of the thermal contact resistance, sensitivity to the in-plane thermal conductivity in the thermal model, and other factors. In the second part, we discuss the theoretical study of the thermal conductivity of graphene via first principle calculations and molecular dynamics simulation. The "selection rule" of phonon scattering explains the thickness-dependent thermal conductivity of few-layer graphene, and the understanding of the contribution of phonon modes to the thermal conductivity of graphene has been updated recently by taking multiple-phonon scattering into consideration. The size effect on the thermal conductivity of graphene is discussed in this section for a better understanding of the phonon transport behavior of graphene. In the third part, we conclude with the thermal management applications of graphene, including a highly thermally conductive graphene film, graphene fiber, and graphene-enhanced thermal interface materials. For graphene films, which are the pioneering thermal management applications in industrial use, we focus on the challenge of fabricating highly thermally conductive graphene films with large thicknesses and propose possible technical methods. For graphene-enhanced thermal interface materials, we summarize the main factors affecting the thermal properties and discuss the tradeoff between the high thermal conductivity of graphene flakes and the dispersibility of graphene in the polymer matrix. It was demonstrated that a 3D thermal conductive network is essential for efficient heat dissipation in graphene-based composites. Finally, a summary of opportunities and challenges in the thermal study of graphene is presented at the end of the review. Research on the thermal properties of graphene has made immense progress since the discovery of the thermal conductivity of graphene more than a decade ago, and will continue in order to address the urgent requirements of thermal management.

Key words: Graphene, Thermal conductivity, Phonon, Thermal interface material, Suspended pad, Size effect


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