Thermal saturation and its suppression in high-power, compact carbon nanotube thin-film thermophones

Timothy A. Brungart, James J. Chatterley, Benjamin S. Beck, Brian L. Kline, Zachary W. Yoas

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Carbon nanotube (CNT) thin-film thermophones, at sufficiently high input power levels, suffer from thermal saturation where an increase in the input power does not result in a corresponding increase in the sound pressure level generated. It is believed that high temperature air, trapped in and around the CNT film, inhibits the ability of the CNT film to cool sufficiently between heating cycles, thus limiting the sound pressure output and increasing in severity with both input power and frequency. Thermal saturation appears to be particularly acute for CNT thermophones designed for compactness or when placed inside a protective or loudspeaker enclosure, where natural convection or heat transfer from the film is inhibited. Fan cooling was integrated into a CNT thermophone and demonstrated to both reduce the temperature of the CNT film and suppress, almost entirely, the effects of thermal saturation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number030002
JournalProceedings of Meetings on Acoustics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Nov 28 2016
Event172nd Meeting of the Acoustical Society of America - Honolulu, United States
Duration: Nov 28 2016Dec 2 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics


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