Thermal Management Materials

As part of its accelerator R&D programme, CERN has developed a family of novel, graphite-based composite materials to perform reliably in extreme thermo-structural conditions. The most outstanding results have been with Molybdenum Carbide-Graphite composites (MoGr)—developed in collaboration with Brevetti Bizz (IT)—that exhibit thermal conductivities up to 900 W m−1K−1 , very low coefficients of thermal expansion, and a density lower than aluminium.

These properties make the materials suitable for applications where efficient thermal management and/or high temperature operability are of significant importance. The composition may also be modified to have properties required for specific applications.

Further information

Advantages & Applications


Thermal management components for:

  • High-end electronics (e.g. heat spreaders and cooling blocks)
  • Automobile components (e.g. cooling for advanced braking systems)
  • Aerospace components
  • Other thermal-management devices


  • Excellent performance in extreme thermo-structural conditions
  • Performance validated in use at CERN
  • Twice the thermal conductivity and ¼ of the weight as copper


  • Thermal conductivity up to 900 W m−1K−1
  • Density as low as 2.5 g cm-3
  • Coefficient of thermal expansion similar to semiconductors
  • Resistant to temperatures higher than 2000 °C (in inert atmosphere), or 400 °C in air
  • Resistance to radiation damage
  • Produced by Pulsed Electric Current Sintering (PECS), also known as Spark Plasma Sintering (SPS) or Field Assisted Sintering
  • Milled to final shape with conventional machining techniques
  • Optional superficial coatings such as metallic molybdenum can be applied