A thin film of such a material on a horizontal substrate surface, oriented so that the layers angle down into the substrate, would exhibit the transverse thermoelectric effect. A horizontal electric field, crossing the layers, would push holes downward along the layers toward the substrate, and the holes would carry energy with them.
The negative electrons would dominate the current perpendicular to the layers, but this current would also flow downward toward the substrate.
Both electrons and holes would therefore move heat away from the top of the film, cooling it and anything that sits on it. The charge and heat move in perpendicular directions, so the area available for vertical heat transport can be much larger than if it were confined to the same cross-section as the current, as in traditional thermoelectric devices. Device structures that exploit anisotropic materials were extensively analyzed 50 years ago. At the time, however, most researchers imagined creating the transverse effect with a high magnetic field of around 1 tesla, which is not practical for most real-world situations.
The newly proposed materials should be able to adopt some of the old design ideas, says Grayson, which could allow them to generate larger temperature differences than current techniques.
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He says that current solid-state refrigeration systems have trouble cooling room-temperature devices below about kelvin. Since the effect requires only a single material, it could also lead to compact coolers for nanotechnology devices. Grayson admits that the heterostructure-based devices would be difficult to make, in part because such materials are normally grown with the layers parallel to the substrate. But he says that natural materials including cesium bismuth telluride and rhenium silicide show related effects and might be more practical.
Alternatively, the phenomenon might be easier to exploit in novel, nonplanar devices, he says.
But he cautions that the results still need to be checked with experiments to be sure that real structures can fully exploit the effect. An acoustic signal can control the viscosity in shear-thickening materials, which have potential uses as impact absorbers. A proposed hydrogen-rich solid would superconduct above the boiling point of water—though the material would need to be subjected to a colossal pressure. Period doubling—a behavior seen in systems that are nearing a chaotic regime—shows up in the microstructure of a strain-textured material.
Filled skutterudite antimonides: Electron crystals and phonon glasses. B 56 , — Hochbaum, A. Enhanced thermoelectric performance of rough silicon nanowires. Nature , — Boukai, A. Silicon nanowires as efficient thermoelectric materials. Poudel, B.
High-thermoelectric performance of nanostructured bismuth antimony telluride bulk alloys. Science , — Kyarad, A. Al-Si multilayers: A synthetic material with large thermoelectric anisotropy. Fischer, K. Anisotropic thermopower in tilted metallic multilayer structures. A 78 , — Transverse Peltier effect in tilted Pb-Bi2Te3 multilayer structures.
Physics - Focus: A New Direction for Thermoelectric Cooling
Kanno, T. Goldsmidt, H. Synthetic transverse thermoelements made from porous bismuth telluride and single crystal bismuth. Reitmaier, C. Power generation by the transverse Seebeck effect in Pb-Bi2Te3 multilayers. A , — Snarskii, A. Thermoelectrics Handbook: Macro to Nano. Application of the Transverse Thermoelectric Effects.
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Tailoring effective thermoelectric tensors and high-density power generation in a tubular Bi 0. Sakai, A. Boehm, R. Takahashi, K. Bifunctional thermoelectric tube made of tilted multilayer material as an alternative to standard heat exchangers. Download references. The authors thank Dr. Ueda for his enthusiastic encouragement of this work.
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Subjects Applied physics Electrical and electronic engineering Thermoelectrics. Abstract Breaking the trade-off between thermoelectric TE parameters has long been demanded in order to highly enhance its performance. Introduction To reduce worldwide primary energy consumption, much attention is now focused on power generation from enormous amounts of low-temperature waste heat.
Full size image. Results and Discussion We have fabricated tilted multilayers of Bi 0. Figure 2: Cross-section photograph of a tubular tilted multilayer. Figure 5: Summary of performance enhancement in the fabricated multilayer by trade-off free optimizations.
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References 1. Google Scholar 3. Google Scholar PubMed Google Scholar Download references. Acknowledgements The authors thank Dr. Supplementary information Word documents 1. Supplementary Information Supplementary Information. About this article Publication history Received 03 June Accepted 30 July Published 15 August Bochmann , Timmy.