Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors
Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

Home > Press > First-ever videos show how heat moves through materials at the nanoscale and speed of sound: Groundbreaking observations could help develop better, more efficient materials for electronics and alternative energy

This is a false-colored ultrafast electron microscope (UEM) snapshot of a thin semiconducting crystal. The image was captured with an extremely fast shutter lasting only a few hundred femtoseconds (a millionth of a billionth of a second).
Photo Credit: College of Science and Engineering
This is a false-colored ultrafast electron microscope (UEM) snapshot of a thin semiconducting crystal. The image was captured with an extremely fast shutter lasting only a few hundred femtoseconds (a millionth of a billionth of a second).

Photo Credit: College of Science and Engineering

Abstract:
Using a state-of-the-art ultrafast electron microscope, University of Minnesota researchers have recorded the first-ever videos showing how heat moves through materials at the nanoscale traveling at the speed of sound.



This video made with the University of Minnesota ultrafast electron microscope (UEM) shows the initial moments of thermal-energy motion in an imperfect semiconducting material. The video shows nanoscale waves of energy, called phonons, moving at about 6 nanometers (0.000000006 meters) per picosecond (0.000000000001 second).

Credit: College of Science and Engineering

First-ever videos show how heat moves through materials at the nanoscale and speed of sound: Groundbreaking observations could help develop better, more efficient materials for electronics and alternative energy

Minneapolis, MN | Posted on April 16th, 2016

The research, published today in Nature Communications, provides unprecedented insight into roles played by individual atomic and nanoscale features that could aid in the design of better, more efficient materials with a wide array of uses, from personal electronics to alternative-energy technologies.

Energy in the form of heat impacts all technologies and is a major factor in how electronic devices and public infrastructure are designed and engineered. It is also the largest form of waste energy in critical applications, including power transmission and especially transportation, where, for example, roughly 70 percent of the energy in gasoline is wasted as heat in automobile engines.

Materials scientists and engineers have spent decades researching how to control thermal energy at the atomic level in order to recycle and use it to dramatically increase efficiencies and ultimately drive down the use of fossil fuels. Such work would be greatly aided by actually watching heat move through materials, but capturing images of the basic physical processes at the heart of thermal-energy motion has presented enormous challenges. This is because the fundamental length scales are nanometers (a billionth of a meter) and the speeds can be many miles per second. Such extreme conditions have made imaging this ubiquitous process extraordinarily challenging.

To overcome these challenges and image the movement of heat energy, the researchers used a cutting-edge FEI Tecnai™ Femto ultrafast electron microscope (UEM) capable of examining the dynamics of materials at the atomic and molecular scale over time spans measured in femtoseconds (one millionth of a billionth of a second). In this work, the researchers used a brief laser pulse to excite electrons and very rapidly heat crystalline semiconducting materials of tungsten diselenide and germanium. They then captured slow-motion videos (slowed by over a billion times the normal speed) of the resulting waves of energy moving through the crystals.

"As soon as we saw the waves, we knew it was an extremely exciting observation," said lead researcher David Flannigan, an assistant professor of chemical engineering and materials science at the University of Minnesota. "Actually watching this process happen at the nanoscale is a dream come true."

Flannigan said the movement of heat through the material looks like ripples on a pond after a pebble is dropped in the water. The videos show waves of energy moving at about 6 nanometers (0.000000006 meters) per picosecond (0.000000000001 second). Mapping the oscillations of energy, called phonons, at the nanoscale is critical to developing a detailed understanding of the fundamentals of thermal-energy motion.

"In many applications, scientists and engineers want to understand thermal-energy motion, control it, collect it, and precisely guide it to do useful work or very quickly move it away from sensitive components," Flannigan said. "Because the lengths and times are so small and so fast, it has been very difficult to understand in detail how this occurs in materials that have imperfections, as essentially all materials do. Literally watching this process happen would go a very long way in building our understanding, and now we can do just that."

###

In addition to Flannigan, researchers involved in the study are University of Minnesota materials science graduate student Daniel R. Cremons and chemical engineering graduate student Dayne A. Plemmons. The research was funded primarily by the National Science Foundation through the University of Minnesota Materials Research Science and Engineering Center.

####

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Rhonda Zurn
College of Science and Engineering

(612) 626-7959
Lacey Nygard
University News Service

(612) 625-0552

Copyright © University of Minnesota

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 Links

To read the entire research paper, entitled “Femtosecond Electron Imaging of Defect-Modulated Phonon Dynamics,” visit the Nature Communications website, where it can be freely downloaded:

Related News Press

News and information

Cyborg heart could help scientists better understand the human organ August 21st, 2019

Research brief: A novel cellular process to engulf nano-sized materials August 20th, 2019

A first for cancer research’: New approach to study tumors August 20th, 2019

Stanford builds a heat shield just 10 atoms thick to protect electronic devices: Atomically thin heat shields could be up to 50,000 times thinner than current insulating materials in cell phones and laptops August 19th, 2019

Chemistry

Kavli Lectures: Innovation by evolution and harnessing the quantum mechanics of the hydrogen bond August 15th, 2019

Oddball edge wins nanotube faceoff: Rice U. theory shows peculiar 'Janus' interface a common mechanism in carbon nanotube growth July 29th, 2019

Caught in the act: Images capture molecular motions in real time July 15th, 2019

Physics

Kavli Lectures: Innovation by evolution and harnessing the quantum mechanics of the hydrogen bond August 15th, 2019

Videos/Movies

Researchers embrace imperfection to improve biomolecule transport August 8th, 2019

NUS ‘smart’ textiles boost connectivity between wearable sensors by 1,000 times: Metamaterials are incorporated into conventional clothing to dramatically improve signal strength between electronic devices, allowing for new applications July 15th, 2019

Govt.-Legislation/Regulation/Funding/Policy

Cyborg heart could help scientists better understand the human organ August 21st, 2019

Research brief: A novel cellular process to engulf nano-sized materials August 20th, 2019

Stanford builds a heat shield just 10 atoms thick to protect electronic devices: Atomically thin heat shields could be up to 50,000 times thinner than current insulating materials in cell phones and laptops August 19th, 2019

uSEE breakthrough unlocks the nanoscale world on standard biology lab equipment August 16th, 2019

Discoveries

Cyborg heart could help scientists better understand the human organ August 21st, 2019

Research brief: A novel cellular process to engulf nano-sized materials August 20th, 2019

A first for cancer research’: New approach to study tumors August 20th, 2019

Stanford builds a heat shield just 10 atoms thick to protect electronic devices: Atomically thin heat shields could be up to 50,000 times thinner than current insulating materials in cell phones and laptops August 19th, 2019

Materials/Metamaterials

You're not so tough, h-BN: Rice University chemists find new path to make strong 2D material better for applications August 14th, 2019

A modified device fabrication process achieves enhanced spin transport in graphene August 6th, 2019

Rice lab produces simple fluorescent surfactants: Compounds show promise for use in medicine, manufacturing August 5th, 2019

Wood You Like Some Fresh Water? New treatment for wood makes a membrane to extract fresh water August 5th, 2019

Announcements

Cyborg heart could help scientists better understand the human organ August 21st, 2019

Research brief: A novel cellular process to engulf nano-sized materials August 20th, 2019

A first for cancer research’: New approach to study tumors August 20th, 2019

Stanford builds a heat shield just 10 atoms thick to protect electronic devices: Atomically thin heat shields could be up to 50,000 times thinner than current insulating materials in cell phones and laptops August 19th, 2019

Interviews/Book Reviews/Essays/Reports/Podcasts/Journals/White papers

Cyborg heart could help scientists better understand the human organ August 21st, 2019

Research brief: A novel cellular process to engulf nano-sized materials August 20th, 2019

A first for cancer research’: New approach to study tumors August 20th, 2019

Stanford builds a heat shield just 10 atoms thick to protect electronic devices: Atomically thin heat shields could be up to 50,000 times thinner than current insulating materials in cell phones and laptops August 19th, 2019

Photonics/Optics/Lasers

RIT to upgrade Semiconductor and Microsystems Fabrication Laboratory through $1 million state grant: Upgrades to clean room will enhance university’s research capabilities in photonics, quantum technologies and smart systems August 16th, 2019

RIT awarded NSF funding to conceptualize Quantum Photonic Institute: RIT will develop plan for open-access Quantum Foundry for quantum photonic circuits August 7th, 2019

Oddball edge wins nanotube faceoff: Rice U. theory shows peculiar 'Janus' interface a common mechanism in carbon nanotube growth July 29th, 2019

Technologies for the Sixth Generation Cellular Network: Ultra-rapid Electro-optical Modulators Convert Terahertz into Optical Data Signals - Publication in Nature Photonics July 25th, 2019

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



  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More











ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project