Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors


Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button


DHgate

Home > Press > Silicon superlattices: New waves in thermoelectricity

Max G. Lagally
Max G. Lagally

Abstract:
University of Wisconsin-Madison research team has developed a new method for using nanoscale silicon that could improve devices that convert thermal energy into electrical energy.

Silicon superlattices: New waves in thermoelectricity

Madison, WI | Posted on March 31st, 2009

The team, led by Erwin W. Mueller Professor and Bascom Professor of Surface Science Max Lagally, published its findings in the March 24 issue of the journal ACS Nano.

Thermoelectric devices can use electricity to cool, or conversely convert heat to electricity. To improve efficiency in tiny thermoelectric devices, researchers build superlattices of alternating thin layers of two different semiconductor materials, called heterojunctions. Charges in multi-layer heterojunction wires travel through a periodic electric field that influences their motion; however, it is difficult to create modulation large enough to be effective with traditional heterojunctions, Lagally says.

The UW-Madison team addressed the problem by creating a superlattice from a single material: a sheet of silicon nanometers thick, called a nanomembrane, and cutting it into ribbons nanometers wide. The researchers can induce localized strain in the silicon, creating an effective strain wave that causes charges the electric field in the ribbon to vary periodically.

"Essentially we're making the equivalent of a heterojunction superlattice with one material," says Lagally, whose home department is materials science and engineering. "We're actually doing better with these strained regions than you can do easily with multiple-chemical-component systems."

The strained-silicon superlattices display greater electric field modulation than their heterojunction counterparts, so they may improve silicon thermoelectrics near or above room temperature. In addition, they are relatively easy to manufacture. Lagally and his group theorize that their method could apply to any type of semiconductor nanomembrane.

"It's cool in several ways: It's a single material, the modulation in the electric field is bigger than what others can make easily, and it's very straightforward," says Lagally.

Co-authors of the paper include Lagally, UW-Madison postdoctoral associate Hing-Huang Huang, graduate students Clark Ritz and Bozidar Novakovic, assistant scientist Frank Flack, associate scientist Don Savage, Materials Science and Engineering Associate Professor Paul Evans, and Electrical and Computer Engineering Assistant Professor Irena Knezevic, along with Decai Yu, Yu Zhang and Professor Feng Liu of the University of Utah.

The U.S. Department of Energy, the National Science Foundation and the Air Force Office of Scientific Research supported this work.

####

For more information, please click here

Copyright © University of Wisconsin-Madison

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related News Press

News and information

The intermediates in a chemical reaction photographed 'red-handed' Researchers at the UPV/EHU-University of the Basque Country have for the first time succeeded in imaging all the steps in a complex organic reaction and have resolved the mechanisms that explain it May 4th, 2016

New tool allows scientists to visualize 'nanoscale' processes May 4th, 2016

FEI Launches Apreo Industry-Leading Versatile, High-Performance SEM: The Apreo SEM provides high-resolution surface information with excellent contrast, and the flexibility to accommodate a large range of samples, applications and conditions May 4th, 2016

An Experiment Seeks to Make Quantum Physics Visible to the Naked Eye May 3rd, 2016

Possible Futures

The intermediates in a chemical reaction photographed 'red-handed' Researchers at the UPV/EHU-University of the Basque Country have for the first time succeeded in imaging all the steps in a complex organic reaction and have resolved the mechanisms that explain it May 4th, 2016

New tool allows scientists to visualize 'nanoscale' processes May 4th, 2016

Nuclear pores captured on film: Using an ultra fast-scanning atomic force microscope, researchers from the University of Basel have filmed 'living' nuclear pore complexes at work for the first time May 3rd, 2016

Little ANTs: Researchers build the world's tiniest engine May 3rd, 2016

Announcements

The intermediates in a chemical reaction photographed 'red-handed' Researchers at the UPV/EHU-University of the Basque Country have for the first time succeeded in imaging all the steps in a complex organic reaction and have resolved the mechanisms that explain it May 4th, 2016

New tool allows scientists to visualize 'nanoscale' processes May 4th, 2016

FEI Launches Apreo Industry-Leading Versatile, High-Performance SEM: The Apreo SEM provides high-resolution surface information with excellent contrast, and the flexibility to accommodate a large range of samples, applications and conditions May 4th, 2016

An Experiment Seeks to Make Quantum Physics Visible to the Naked Eye May 3rd, 2016

Energy

Nanoparticles present sustainable way to grow food crops May 1st, 2016

NREL finds nanotube semiconductors well-suited for PV systems April 27th, 2016

Researchers create artificial protein to control assembly of buckyballs April 27th, 2016

Flipping a chemical switch helps perovskite solar cells beat the heat April 26th, 2016

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE




  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoTech-Transfer
University Technology Transfer & Patents
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More











ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project







Car Brands
Buy website traffic