Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors

Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

Home > Press > Round-the-clock power from smart bowties

Overlapping metal arms shaped like a bowtie form a 'rectenna' that captures free, renewable infrared energy.
CREDIT
 2017 Atif Shamim
Overlapping metal arms shaped like a bowtie form a 'rectenna' that captures free, renewable infrared energy. CREDIT 2017 Atif Shamim

Abstract:
Most sunlight striking the Earth is absorbed by its surfaces, oceans and atmosphere. As a result of this warming, infrared radiation is emitted constantly all around us--estimated to be millions of Gigawatts per second. A KAUST team has now developed a device that can tap into this energy, as well as waste heat from industrial processes, by transforming quadrillionth-of-a-second wave signals into useful electricity.

Round-the-clock power from smart bowties

Thuwal, Saudi Arabia | Posted on February 5th, 2018

Unlike solar panels that are limited by daylight hours and weather conditions, infrared heat can be harvested 24 hours a day. One way to achieve this is to treat waste or infrared heat as high-frequency electromagnetic waves. Using appropriately designed antennas, collected waves are sent to a rectifier, typically a semiconductor diode, that converts alternating signals to direct current charge for batteries or power devices.

Putting these 'rectenna' designs into practice has been difficult. Because infrared emissions have very small wavelengths, they need micro- or nanoscale antennas that are not easy to fabricate or test. Additionally, infrared waves oscillate thousands of times faster than a typical semiconductor can move electrons through its junction. "There is no commercial diode in the world that can operate at such high frequency," says Atif Shamim, project leader from KAUST. "That's why we turned to quantum tunneling."

Tunneling devices, such as metal-insulator-metal (MIM) diodes, rectify infrared waves into current by moving electrons through a small barrier. Since this barrier is only a nanometer thin, MIM diodes can handle high-frequency signals on the order of femtoseconds. To generate the intense fields needed for tunneling, the team turned to a unique 'bowtie-shaped' nano-antenna that sandwiches the thin insulator film between two slightly overlapped metallic arms.

"The most challenging part was the nanoscale overlap of the two antenna arms, which required very precise alignment," says postdoctoral researcher, Gaurav Jayaswal. "Nonetheless, by combining clever tricks with the advanced tools at KAUST's nanofabrication facility we accomplished this step".

By choosing metals with different work functions, the new MIM diode could catch the infrared waves with zero applied voltage, a passive feature that switches the device on only when needed. Experiments with infrared exposure revealed the bowtie successfully harvested energy solely from the radiation, and not from thermal effects, as evidenced by a polarization-dependent output voltage.

"This is just the beginning--a proof of concept," says Shamim. "We could have millions of such devices connected to boost overall electricity generation."

####

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
carolyn unck

Copyright © King Abdullah University of Science and Technology

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

RELATED JOURNAL ARTICLE:

Related News Press

News and information

Halas wins American Chemical Society Award in Colloid Chemistry: Rice University nanophotonics pioneer honored for colloid research September 18th, 2018

Leti & EFI Aim to Dramatically Improve Reliability & Speed of Low-Cost Electronic Devices for Autos: Project Will Extend Model Predictive Control Technique to Microcontrollers, Digital Signal Processors and Other Devices that Lack Powerful Computation Capabilities September 18th, 2018

Researchers managed to prevent the disappearing of quantum information September 14th, 2018

Tiny camera lens may help link quantum computers to network September 14th, 2018

Wireless/telecommunications/RF/Antennas/Microwaves

Kavli Lectures: New vision of nanomaterial synthesis and light-fueled space travel August 8th, 2018

Optical fibers that can 'feel' the materials around them August 7th, 2018

Leti and Oscaro Partner on Letis New Low-Power, Low-Cost Transceiver to Track Parcels July 12th, 2018

GLOBALFOUNDRIES Surpasses $2 Billion in Design Win Revenue on 22FDX Technology : With 50 client designs and growing, 22FDX proves its value as a cost-effective solution for power-sensitive applications July 9th, 2018

Possible Futures

Halas wins American Chemical Society Award in Colloid Chemistry: Rice University nanophotonics pioneer honored for colloid research September 18th, 2018

Leti & EFI Aim to Dramatically Improve Reliability & Speed of Low-Cost Electronic Devices for Autos: Project Will Extend Model Predictive Control Technique to Microcontrollers, Digital Signal Processors and Other Devices that Lack Powerful Computation Capabilities September 18th, 2018

Researchers managed to prevent the disappearing of quantum information September 14th, 2018

Tiny camera lens may help link quantum computers to network September 14th, 2018

Discoveries

Researchers managed to prevent the disappearing of quantum information September 14th, 2018

Tiny camera lens may help link quantum computers to network September 14th, 2018

New devices based on rust could reduce excess heat in computers: Physicists explore long-distance information transmission in antiferromagnetic iron oxide September 14th, 2018

New photonic chip promises more robust quantum computers September 14th, 2018

Materials/Metamaterials

How a tetrahedral substance can be more symmetrical than a spherical atom: A new type of symmetry September 14th, 2018

Peering into private life of atomic clusters -- using the world's tiniest test tubes September 6th, 2018

Cannibalistic materials feed on themselves to grow new nanostructures September 1st, 2018

Environmentally friendly photoluminescent nanoparticles for more vivid display colors: Osaka University-led researchers created a new type of light-emitting nanoparticle that is made of ternary non-toxic semiconductors to help create displays and LED lighting with better colors t August 29th, 2018

Announcements

Halas wins American Chemical Society Award in Colloid Chemistry: Rice University nanophotonics pioneer honored for colloid research September 18th, 2018

Leti & EFI Aim to Dramatically Improve Reliability & Speed of Low-Cost Electronic Devices for Autos: Project Will Extend Model Predictive Control Technique to Microcontrollers, Digital Signal Processors and Other Devices that Lack Powerful Computation Capabilities September 18th, 2018

New devices based on rust could reduce excess heat in computers: Physicists explore long-distance information transmission in antiferromagnetic iron oxide September 14th, 2018

New photonic chip promises more robust quantum computers September 14th, 2018

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

Researchers managed to prevent the disappearing of quantum information September 14th, 2018

Tiny camera lens may help link quantum computers to network September 14th, 2018

New devices based on rust could reduce excess heat in computers: Physicists explore long-distance information transmission in antiferromagnetic iron oxide September 14th, 2018

How a tetrahedral substance can be more symmetrical than a spherical atom: A new type of symmetry September 14th, 2018

Energy

S, N co-doped carbon nanotube-encapsulated CoS2@Co: Efficient and stable catalysts for water splitting September 10th, 2018

September 5th, 2018

Rice U. lab probes molecular limit of plasmonics: Optical effect detailed in organic molecules with fewer than 50 atoms September 5th, 2018

Producing hydrogen from splitting water without splitting hairs: New model explains interactions between small copper clusters used as low-cost catalysts in the production of hydrogen by breaking down water molecules August 31st, 2018

Battery Technology/Capacitors/Generators/Piezoelectrics/Thermoelectrics/Energy storage

Leti & EFI Aim to Dramatically Improve Reliability & Speed of Low-Cost Electronic Devices for Autos: Project Will Extend Model Predictive Control Technique to Microcontrollers, Digital Signal Processors and Other Devices that Lack Powerful Computation Capabilities September 18th, 2018

Cannibalistic materials feed on themselves to grow new nanostructures September 1st, 2018

Large scale preparation method of high quality SWNT sponges August 24th, 2018

Virginia Tech researchers develop novel process to 3D print one of the strongest materials on Earth August 23rd, 2018

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