Liquid-like materials could pave way for new thermoelectric devices
March 26, 2012 // Julien Happich
In the continual quest for better thermoelectric materials—which convert heat into electricity and vice versa—researchers have identified a liquid-like compound whose properties give it the potential to be even more efficient than traditional thermoelectrics.
The researchers studied a material made from copper and selenium. Although it is physically a solid, it exhibits liquid-like behaviors due to the way its copper atoms flow through the selenium's crystal lattice. "It's like a wet sponge," explains Jeff Snyder, a faculty associate in applied physics and materials science in the Division of Engineering and Applied Science at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) and a member of the research team. "If you have a sponge with very fine pores in it, it looks and acts like a solid. But inside, the water molecules are diffusing just as fast as they would if they were a regular liquid. That's how I imagine this material works. It has a solid framework of selenium atoms, but the copper atoms are diffusing around as fast as they would in a liquid."
The research, led by scientists from the Chinese Academy of Science's Shanghai Institute of Ceramics in collaboration with researchers from Brookhaven National Laboratory and the University of Michigan, as well as from Caltech, is described in a paper recently published in the journal Nature Materials. A good thermoelectric material must be good at conducting electricity but bad at conducting heat. If it were good at conducting heat, the heat from the hot end would move to the cool end so fast that the whole material would rapidly reach the same temperature. When that happens, the electrons stop flowing.All news
Lemoptix pico-projector excels
September 17, 2014
The microelectromechanical system (MEMS) market for pico-projectors is heating up with the entry of Lemoptix SA.
Building ARM-based Bluetooth-enabled wearables
Asia-Pacific IC usage domination growing
Webinar: Insight into the WiFi-offload technology and lab testing
Belgium spin-off takes photonic IC design to the mainstream
Tablets to provide growth over flat PC market
September 16, 2014
The market for conventional desktop and notebook computers has peaked according to market research firm IC Insights but tablet ...
Android One debuts in India, ignites next 5 billion battle
ZF swallows TRW Automotive
Is rapid charging batteries really so damaging?
- Flexible and Low Power Driving of Solenoid Coils
- How to Protect & Monetize Android Apps
- Power Modules: The New Super Power
- Flexible Performance for Network Security Appliances
InterviewCEO interview: AMS' Laney on driving a sensor-driven business
Kirk Laney, CEO of Austrian mixed-signal chip and sensor company AMS, wants to leverage the opportunity that technology affords to create new markets for sensors and sensor interfaces.
Filter WizardCheck out the Filter Wizard Series of articles by Filter Guru Kendall Castor-Perry which provide invaluable practical Analog Design guidelines.
Linear video channel
READER OFFERRead more
This month, Trinamic Motion Control is offering you to win one of four TMCM-1043 development kits for its highly integrated, NEMA 17-compatible TMCM-1043 stepDancer stepper motor module.
Offering designers an easy-to-use PC-based GUI that allows one-click modification of motor drive current, micro-stepping and other key parameters, the intuitive kits are custom designed and developed for...MORE INFO AND LAST MONTH' WINNERS...
December 15, 2011 | Texas instruments | 222901974
Unique Ser/Des technology supports encrypted video and audio content with full duplex bi-directional control channel over a single wire interface.