Converting Waste Heat Into Electricity? Mismatched Alloys Are a Good Match for Thermoelectrics

In ScienceDaily, February 1 2010

Employing some of the world's most powerful supercomputers, scientists at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have shown that mismatched alloys are a good match for the future development of high performance thermoelectric devices. Thermoelectrics hold enormous potential for green energy production because of their ability to convert heat into electricity.

Computations performed on "Franklin," a Cray XT4 massively parallel processing system operated by the National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC), showed that the introduction of oxygen impurities into a unique class of semiconductors known as highly mismatched alloys (HMAs) can substantially enhance the thermoelectric performance of these materials without the customary degradation in electric conductivity.

"We are predicting a range of inexpensive, abundant, non-toxic materials in which the band structure can be widely tuned for maximal thermoelectric efficiency," says Junqiao Wu, a physicist with Berkeley Lab's Materials Sciences Division and a professor with UC Berkeley's Department of Materials Science and Engineering who led this research.

Full Article

Copyright © 2006-2014 The Regents of the University of California, All Rights Reserved.
Idea EngineeringUC Santa Barbara College of EngineeringPrivacyTerms of Use
UCSB  UC Santa Barbara Engineering & the Sciences College of Engineering Division of Math, Life, and Physical Sciences

energy efficiency