Nanotechnology Now







Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button


DHgate

Home > Press > A quantum dot energy harvester: Turning Waste Heat into Electricity on the Nanoscale

An array on nano energy harvesters in what the researchers call a "swiss cheese" arrangement.
An array on nano energy harvesters in what the researchers call a "swiss cheese" arrangement.

Abstract:
A new type of nanoscale engine has been proposed that would use quantum dots to generate electricity from waste heat, potentially making microcircuits more efficient. The engines would be microscopic in size, and have no moving parts. Each would only produce a tiny amount of power but by combining millions of the engines in a layered structure, enough of them could make a notable difference in the energy consumption of a computer.

A quantum dot energy harvester: Turning Waste Heat into Electricity on the Nanoscale

Rochester, NY | Posted on February 14th, 2013

A new type of nanoscale engine has been proposed that would use quantum dots to generate electricity from waste heat, potentially making microcircuits more efficient.

"The system is really a simple one, which exploits certain properties of quantum dots to harvest heat," Professor Andrew Jordan of the University of Rochester said. "Despite this simplicity, the power it could generate is still larger than any other nanoengine that has been considered until now."

The engines would be microscopic in size, and have no moving parts. Each would only produce a tiny amount of power - a millionth or less of what a light bulb uses. But by combining millions of the engines in a layered structure, Jordan says a device that was a square inch in area could produce about a watt of power for every one degree difference in temperature. Enough of them could make a notable difference in the energy consumption of a computer.

A paper describing the new work is being published in Physical Review B by Jordan, a theoretical physics professor, and his collaborators, Björn Sothmann and Markus Buttiker from the University of Geneva, and Rafael Sánchez from the Material Sciences Institute in Madrid.

Jordan explained that each of the proposed nanoengines is based on two adjacent quantum dots, with current flowing through one and then the other. Quantum dots are manufactured systems that due to their small size act as quantum mechanical objects, or artificial atoms.

The path the electrons have to take across both quantum dots can be adjusted to have an uphill slope. To make it up this (electrical) hill, electrons need energy. They take the energy from the middle of the region, which is kept hot, and use this energy to come out the other side, higher up the hill. This removes heat from where it is being generated and converts it into electrical power with a high efficiency.

To do this, the system makes use of a quantum mechanical effect called resonant tunneling, which means the quantum dots act as perfect energy filters. When the system is in the resonant tunneling mode, electrons can only pass through the quantum dots when they have a specific energy that can be adjusted. All other electrons that do not have this energy are blocked.

Quantum dots can be grown in a self-assembling way out of semiconductor materials. This allows for a practical way to produce many of these tiny engines as part of a larger array, and in multiple layers, which the authors refer to as the Swiss Cheese Sandwich configuration (see image).

How much electrical power is produced depends on the temperature difference across the energy harvester - the higher the temperature difference, the higher the power that will be generated. This requires good insulation between the hot and cold regions, Jordan says.

####

About University of Rochester
The University of Rochester (www.rochester.edu) is one of the nation's leading private universities. Located in Rochester, N.Y., the University gives students exceptional opportunities for interdisciplinary study and close collaboration with faculty through its unique cluster-based curriculum. Its College, School of Arts and Sciences, and Hajim School of Engineering and Applied Sciences are complemented by its Eastman School of Music, Simon School of Business, Warner School of Education, Laboratory for Laser Energetics, School of Medicine and Dentistry, School of Nursing, Eastman Institute for Oral Health, and the Memorial Art Gallery.

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Leonor Sierra
585.276.6264

Copyright © University of Rochester

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

'Microcombing' creates stronger, more conductive carbon nanotube films May 5th, 2015

Testing Facility for Graphene Enhanced Composite Pipes May 5th, 2015

Arrowhead Completes Dosing Healthy Volunteers and Initiates Transition to Patients in Phase 1 Study of ARC-AAT May 5th, 2015

Silicon Storage Technology and GLOBALFOUNDRIES Announce Qualification of Automotive Grade 55nm Embedded Flash Memory Technology May 5th, 2015

Chip Technology

New chip architecture may provide foundation for quantum computer: Researchers at the Georgia Tech Research Institute have developed a microfabricated ion trap architecture that holds promise for increasing the density of qubits in future quantum computers May 5th, 2015

Silicon Storage Technology and GLOBALFOUNDRIES Announce Qualification of Automotive Grade 55nm Embedded Flash Memory Technology May 5th, 2015

Defects in atomically thin semiconductor emit single photons: Researchers create optically active quantum dots in 2-D semiconductor for the first time; may have applications for integrated photonics May 4th, 2015

From brittle to plastic in 1 breath: Rice University theorists show environments can alter 2-D materials' basic properties May 4th, 2015

Self Assembly

Scientists Use Nanoscale Building Blocks and DNA 'Glue' to Shape 3D Superlattices: New approach to designing ordered composite materials for possible energy applications April 23rd, 2015

Advances in molecular electronics: Lights on -- molecule on: Researchers from Dresden and Konstanz succeed in light-controlled molecule switching April 20th, 2015

Carnegie Mellon chemists create tiny gold nanoparticles that reflect nature's patterns April 9th, 2015

DWI scientists program the lifetime of self-assembled nanostructures April 9th, 2015

Discoveries

New chip architecture may provide foundation for quantum computer: Researchers at the Georgia Tech Research Institute have developed a microfabricated ion trap architecture that holds promise for increasing the density of qubits in future quantum computers May 5th, 2015

'Microcombing' creates stronger, more conductive carbon nanotube films May 5th, 2015

Iranian Scientists Present Model to Study Mechanical Vibrations of Structures Containing Nanocomposites May 5th, 2015

From brittle to plastic in 1 breath: Rice University theorists show environments can alter 2-D materials' basic properties May 4th, 2015

Announcements

'Microcombing' creates stronger, more conductive carbon nanotube films May 5th, 2015

Testing Facility for Graphene Enhanced Composite Pipes May 5th, 2015

Arrowhead Completes Dosing Healthy Volunteers and Initiates Transition to Patients in Phase 1 Study of ARC-AAT May 5th, 2015

Silicon Storage Technology and GLOBALFOUNDRIES Announce Qualification of Automotive Grade 55nm Embedded Flash Memory Technology May 5th, 2015

Energy

Testing Facility for Graphene Enhanced Composite Pipes May 5th, 2015

Engineering a better solar cell: UW research pinpoints defects in popular perovskites May 1st, 2015

Artificial photosynthesis could help make fuels, plastics and medicine April 29th, 2015

Unique microscopic images provide new insights into ionic liquids April 28th, 2015

Quantum Dots/Rods

Defects in atomically thin semiconductor emit single photons: Researchers create optically active quantum dots in 2-D semiconductor for the first time; may have applications for integrated photonics May 4th, 2015

QD Vision Wins 2015 Bronze Edison Award for Color IQ™ Quantum Dot Technology April 26th, 2015

QD Vision Expands Product Line with Two-Millimeter Color LCD Display Optic: Color IQ™ Optic Enables Full-Color Gamut for Ultra-Thin Displays and All-in-One Computers April 16th, 2015

Promising future of quantum dots explored in conference: ‘20 Years of Quantum Dots at Los Alamos’ runs April 12-16 April 13th, 2015

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