Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

A New Material Could Act as a Nanofridge for Microchips

09.10.2008
In the past few years, the design and manufacturing of circuits at nanoscopic scale for integrated devices has become one of the frontier fields in new material science and technology.

The significant reduction achieved in these devices often is accompanied by new discoveries in how they behave precisely when the systems are of extremely small dimensions. Understanding this new physics at nanoscopic scale at the same time has enabled researchers to study the possibility of designing new materials with innovative characteristics.

One of the most crucial properties to take into account when designing chips is the thermal conductivity of the devices integrated in the chip, i.e. their capacity to remove or accumulate energy. This property is essential to control the heating of micro-sized circuits, which represents one of the current physical limitations to computing potential. Combining heat and electricity creates thermoelectric effects which would allow circuits to cool down and would increase the power of computing. Until now, no material has contained the properties needed to be efficient enough in terms of thermoelectric behaviour.

This is why obtaining materials at nanometric scale can be useful for the improvement of thermoelectric properties, since these materials can achieve a significant reduction in thermal conductivity as well as maintain a high level of electrical conductivity, which is needed to obtain high thermoelectric efficiency.

In this project, researchers of the UAB Department of Physics and the Barcelona Institute of Materials Science (ICMAB-CSIC) have worked together to develop a new material based on supernets formed with two alternative layers, one made of silicon (Si) and the other of germanium (Ge) nanocrystals (quantum dots). In comparison to previous improvements, this project proposes to place the quantum dots in an uncorrelated fashion on consecutive layers. In other words, the dots on one layer would not be vertically aligned with those of the lower layer.

This is achieved by introducing a small sub-layer of carbon between each layer of silicon and Ge nanodots, which hides the information of the quantum dots found on the lower levels. The main result of the uncorrelation between consecutive layers is the reduction in thermal conductivity, since it becomes more difficult to transport heat perpendicularly from the multilayers. Researchers were able to prove that this reduction reached a factor in excess of 2 when compared to structures with a vertical correlation of dots. This could greatly influence the design of new materials with improved thermoelectric characteristics and pave the way for the creation of nanofridges for common semiconductor devices, given that the structure is compatible with silicon technology.

Ge-based structures also could be used in high-temperature applications, such as in recovering heat generated in combustion processes and converting it to electrical energy.

A second and important aspect of this project is the theoretic study of the thermal properties this new material contains through a simple model based on the modification of the Fourier heat equation, which can predict its behaviour according to the dimensions of its characteristics. Thus with the help of results from previous studies, researchers were able to understand the theoretical foundations of thermal behaviour of this nanostructured material.

The research was coordinated by Javier Rodríguez, professor at the UAB Department of Physics, with the participation of Jaime Alvarez, Xavier Alvarez and David Jou, also from the UAB Department of Physics, as well as the collaboration of CSIC researchers Paul Lacharmoise, Alessandro Bernardi, Isabel Alonso, and ICREA researcher Alejandro Goñi. Part of the research was carried out at the Nanotechnology Lab of the MATGAS research centre located at the UAB Research Park. The research paper was recently published in Applied Physics Letters and research members are now working to develop a material with a good level of electric conductivity through controlled doping of the structure.

Octavi López Coronado | alfa
Further information:
http://www.uab.es

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht NASA's SDO sees partial eclipse in space
29.05.2017 | NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

nachricht Strathclyde-led research develops world's highest gain high-power laser amplifier
29.05.2017 | University of Strathclyde

All articles from Physics and Astronomy >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Strathclyde-led research develops world's highest gain high-power laser amplifier

The world's highest gain high power laser amplifier - by many orders of magnitude - has been developed in research led at the University of Strathclyde.

The researchers demonstrated the feasibility of using plasma to amplify short laser pulses of picojoule-level energy up to 100 millijoules, which is a 'gain'...

Im Focus: Can the immune system be boosted against Staphylococcus aureus by delivery of messenger RNA?

Staphylococcus aureus is a feared pathogen (MRSA, multi-resistant S. aureus) due to frequent resistances against many antibiotics, especially in hospital infections. Researchers at the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut have identified immunological processes that prevent a successful immune response directed against the pathogenic agent. The delivery of bacterial proteins with RNA adjuvant or messenger RNA (mRNA) into immune cells allows the re-direction of the immune response towards an active defense against S. aureus. This could be of significant importance for the development of an effective vaccine. PLOS Pathogens has published these research results online on 25 May 2017.

Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) is a bacterium that colonizes by far more than half of the skin and the mucosa of adults, usually without causing infections....

Im Focus: A quantum walk of photons

Physicists from the University of Würzburg are capable of generating identical looking single light particles at the push of a button. Two new studies now demonstrate the potential this method holds.

The quantum computer has fuelled the imagination of scientists for decades: It is based on fundamentally different phenomena than a conventional computer....

Im Focus: Turmoil in sluggish electrons’ existence

An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.

We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...

Im Focus: Wafer-thin Magnetic Materials Developed for Future Quantum Technologies

Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.

Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Marine Conservation: IASS Contributes to UN Ocean Conference in New York on 5-9 June

24.05.2017 | Event News

AWK Aachen Machine Tool Colloquium 2017: Internet of Production for Agile Enterprises

23.05.2017 | Event News

Dortmund MST Conference presents Individualized Healthcare Solutions with micro and nanotechnology

22.05.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

New insights into the ancestors of all complex life

29.05.2017 | Earth Sciences

New photocatalyst speeds up the conversion of carbon dioxide into chemical resources

29.05.2017 | Life Sciences

NASA's SDO sees partial eclipse in space

29.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>