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

Machine learning speeds modeling of experiments aimed at capturing fusion energy on Earth May 17th, 2019

Manipulating atoms one at a time with an electron beam: New method could be useful for building quantum sensors and computers May 17th, 2019

New surface treatment could improve refrigeration efficiency: A slippery surface for liquids with very low surface tension promotes droplet formation, facilitating heat transfer May 17th, 2019

Generating high-quality single photons for quantum computing: New dual-cavity design emits more single photons that can carry quantum information at room temperature May 17th, 2019

Wireless/telecommunications/RF/Antennas/Microwaves

Exchanging information securely using quantum communication in future fiber-optic networks: New research demonstrates potential solutions as transmission networks evolve to use multicore fiber March 6th, 2019

Disruptive by Design: Nano Now February 1st, 2019

Oxford Instruments participates in the launch of the European Quantum Technology Flagship Programme ‘QMiCS’ December 13th, 2018

2-D magnetism: Atom-thick platforms for energy, information and computing research: Scientists say the tiny 'spins' of electrons show potential to one day support next-generation innovations in many fields October 31st, 2018

Possible Futures

Machine learning speeds modeling of experiments aimed at capturing fusion energy on Earth May 17th, 2019

Manipulating atoms one at a time with an electron beam: New method could be useful for building quantum sensors and computers May 17th, 2019

New surface treatment could improve refrigeration efficiency: A slippery surface for liquids with very low surface tension promotes droplet formation, facilitating heat transfer May 17th, 2019

Generating high-quality single photons for quantum computing: New dual-cavity design emits more single photons that can carry quantum information at room temperature May 17th, 2019

Discoveries

Manipulating atoms one at a time with an electron beam: New method could be useful for building quantum sensors and computers May 17th, 2019

New surface treatment could improve refrigeration efficiency: A slippery surface for liquids with very low surface tension promotes droplet formation, facilitating heat transfer May 17th, 2019

Generating high-quality single photons for quantum computing: New dual-cavity design emits more single photons that can carry quantum information at room temperature May 17th, 2019

CEA-Leti Develops CMOS Process for High-Performance MicroLEDs That Could Overcome Display-Size Obstacles: New Concept Creates All-in-One RGB MicroLEDs, Eliminates Several Transfer Steps to Receiving Substrate & Boosts Performance May 16th, 2019

Materials/Metamaterials

ZEN gets $1m grant for graphene-enhanced concrete project May 12th, 2019

Computing faster with quasi-particles May 10th, 2019

Coal could yield treatment for traumatic injuries: Rice, Texas A&M, UTHealth scientists discover coal-derived ‘dots’ are effective antioxidant April 25th, 2019

Multistep self-assembly opens door to new reconfigurable materials April 19th, 2019

Announcements

Machine learning speeds modeling of experiments aimed at capturing fusion energy on Earth May 17th, 2019

Manipulating atoms one at a time with an electron beam: New method could be useful for building quantum sensors and computers May 17th, 2019

New surface treatment could improve refrigeration efficiency: A slippery surface for liquids with very low surface tension promotes droplet formation, facilitating heat transfer May 17th, 2019

Generating high-quality single photons for quantum computing: New dual-cavity design emits more single photons that can carry quantum information at room temperature May 17th, 2019

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

Machine learning speeds modeling of experiments aimed at capturing fusion energy on Earth May 17th, 2019

Manipulating atoms one at a time with an electron beam: New method could be useful for building quantum sensors and computers May 17th, 2019

Generating high-quality single photons for quantum computing: New dual-cavity design emits more single photons that can carry quantum information at room temperature May 17th, 2019

New way to beat the heat in electronics: Rice University lab's flexible insulator offers high strength and superior thermal conduction May 16th, 2019

Energy

Machine learning speeds modeling of experiments aimed at capturing fusion energy on Earth May 17th, 2019

New surface treatment could improve refrigeration efficiency: A slippery surface for liquids with very low surface tension promotes droplet formation, facilitating heat transfer May 17th, 2019

Skoltech researchers developed new perovskite-inspired semiconductors for electronic devices May 13th, 2019

Exploring New Ways to Control Thermal Radiation April 29th, 2019

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

New way to beat the heat in electronics: Rice University lab's flexible insulator offers high strength and superior thermal conduction May 16th, 2019

New Argonne coating could have big implications for lithium batteries May 14th, 2019

Army discovery opens path to safer batteries May 10th, 2019

Self-powered wearable tech May 8th, 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