Nanostructuring Technology Controls Heat And Electricity

First Posted: Nov 09, 2015 03:32 PM EST

Researchers have developed a new type of nanostructuring technology which can control heat and electricity at the same time, according to a study at Osaka University in Japan.

This new study focuses on improving thermoelectric materials, so that it can directly convert wasted heat to electric energy. Thus, Professor Yoshiaki Nakamura proposed an innovated method for creating a material that can control both heat and electrical conductions simultaneously. The method uses nanostructuring, which is a little fuzzy as far as understanding goes.

The team of researchers created a nanostructure that has ultra-small germanium nanodots, which are formed similarly to crystal orientations in silicon. The structure allowed electrical current to flow in silicon, and thermal conduction was prevented by the germanium nanodots. The high electric conductivity and low heat conductivity were identified simultaneously, according to the researchers.

The researchers made the shape and dimension of germanium nanodots as the control factors, thus they were able to control thermal conductivity. The researchers claimed that this technique can be used to create thermoelectric materials that can utilize and convert wasted heat into thermoelectric power. This type of heat is given off by the large scale integrated circuits in PCs and servers.

This study paves the way to potentially convert wasted heat to into electricity, according to the researchers.

The findings of this study were published in Scientific Reports.

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