In a research paper, a Stanford University team demonstrated that thin layers of certain materials—just a few atoms thick can properly insulate the warmest components of a device. The team used a graphene layer along with three other materials to create four-layer insulation that’s only 10 atoms thick. As heat passes through each of these layers, the heat energy is depleted.
This new insulation will eventually lead to smaller and lighter devices. For now, though, the challenge for the scientist is to make it practical for mass production.