You've felt the heat before—the smartphone that warms while running a navigation app or the laptop that gets too hot for your lap.
The heat produced by electronic devices does morethanannoy users. Heat-induced voids and cracking can cause chips and circuits to fail.
Now a Stanford-led engineering team has developed a way to not onlymanageheat, but help route it away from delicate devices. Writing in Nature Communications, the researchers describe a thermal transistor—a nanoscale switch that can conduct heat away from electronic components and insulate them against its damaging effects.