Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors

Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

Home > Press > Thermoelectrics go nano

Half-Heuslers would be important thermoelectric materials due to their high temperature stability and abundance if their dimensionless thermoelectric figure of merit (ZT) could be made high enough. Credit 2010 American Chemical Society.
Half-Heuslers would be important thermoelectric materials due to their high temperature stability and abundance if their dimensionless thermoelectric figure of merit (ZT) could be made high enough. Credit 2010 American Chemical Society.

Abstract:
Recently, researchers from Boston College and MIT used nanotechnology to achieve a dramatic improvement in the thermoelectric performance of p-type half-Heuslers.

Thermoelectrics go nano

Chestnut Hill, MA | Posted on January 19th, 2011

Combined with the high temperature stability and abundance of this material, their work could make half-Heuslers good candidates for waste heat recovery in automotive exhaust systems, in which the waste heat of the exhaust is transformed back into electricity by thermoelectric modules, thus improving mileage.

Xiao Yan and his co-workers from BC and MIT achieved a 60-90% higher thermoelectric figure of merit (ZT - see 1 below) in nanostructured bulk samples in comparison with state-of-the-art ingot; specifically, peak ZT enhancements from 0.5 to 0.8 at 700 oC. The improvement mainly comes from the lower thermal conductivity and partially from the higher Seebeck coefficient. "It is the best scenario for a thermoelectric material. Think about it: you are enhancing the electronic transport properties while simultaneously hindering the passage of heat flow," said MIT professor Gang Chen.

A low-cost method was employed by Xiao Yan and his colleagues from BC and MIT, first forming bulk alloyed ingots by arc melting and then milling the material into a fine powder and finally hot-pressing the powder into nanocrystalline ingots. The average grain size of 100-200 nm is the smallest obtained in half-Heusler system to date. "This method is low cost and can be scaled for mass production. This represents an exciting opportunity to improve the thermoelectric performance of materials in a cost-effective manner," said Boston College professor Zhifeng Ren.

This work was published in Nano Letters pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/nl104138t

Also contributing to the work were Prof. S. J. Poon from University of Virginia and Prof. T. M. Tritt from Clemson University.

(1) ZT is a measure of the thermoelectric performance of a material.

####

Contacts:
Ed Hayward
Boston College Office of Public Affairs
617-552-4826

Copyright © Boston College

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

Ultracold atom waves may shed light on rogue ocean killers: Rice quantum experiments probe underlying physics of rogue ocean waves April 27th, 2017

Looking for the quantum frontier: Beyond classical computing without fault-tolerance? April 27th, 2017

Metal nanoparticles induced visible-light photocatalysis: Mechanisms, applications, ways of promoting catalytic activity and outlook April 27th, 2017

Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals to Webcast Fiscal 2017 Second Quarter Results April 27th, 2017

Possible Futures

Looking for the quantum frontier: Beyond classical computing without fault-tolerance? April 27th, 2017

Video captures bubble-blowing battery in action: Researchers propose how bubbles form, could lead to smaller lithium-air batteries April 26th, 2017

California Research Alliance by BASF establishes more than 25 research projects in three years April 26th, 2017

Geoffrey Beach: Drawn to explore magnetism: Materials researcher is working on the magnetic memory of the future April 25th, 2017

Announcements

Ultracold atom waves may shed light on rogue ocean killers: Rice quantum experiments probe underlying physics of rogue ocean waves April 27th, 2017

Looking for the quantum frontier: Beyond classical computing without fault-tolerance? April 27th, 2017

Metal nanoparticles induced visible-light photocatalysis: Mechanisms, applications, ways of promoting catalytic activity and outlook April 27th, 2017

Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals to Webcast Fiscal 2017 Second Quarter Results April 27th, 2017

Energy

Using light to propel water : With new method, MIT engineers can control and separate fluids on a surface using only visible light April 25th, 2017

SUNY Polytechnic Institute Announces Total of 172 Teams Selected to Compete in Solar in Your Community Challenge: Teams from 40 states, plus Washington, DC, 2 Territories, and 4 American Indian Reservations, Will Deploy Solar in Underserved Communities April 20th, 2017

Better living through pressure: Functional nanomaterials made easy April 19th, 2017

Shedding light on the absorption of light by titanium dioxide April 14th, 2017

Automotive/Transportation

Making Batteries From Waste Glass Bottles: UCR researchers are turning glass bottles into high performance lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles and personal electronics April 19th, 2017

BASF and Landa partner to create revolutionary pigments for automotive coatings: The alliance combines BASF innovations with Landa nano-pigment technology April 5th, 2017

ATTOPSEMI Technology Joins FDXcelerator Program to Deliver Advanced Non-Volatile Memory IP to GLOBALFOUNDRIES 22 FDX Technology Platform: Leading-edge I-fuse brings higher reliability, smaller cell size and ease of programmability for consumer, automotive, and IoT applications March 27th, 2017

Promising results obtained with a new electrocatalyst that reduces the need for platinum: Researchers from Aalto University have succeeded in manufacturing electrocatalysts used for storing electric energy with one-hundredth of the amount of platinum that is usually needed March 24th, 2017

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