Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

At Molecular Scale, Vibrational Couplings Define Heat Conduction

23.09.2004


Too much heat can destroy a sturdy automobile engine or a miniature microchip. As scientists and engineers strive to make ever-smaller nanoscale devices, from molecular motors and switches to single-molecule transistors, the control of heat is becoming a burning issue.

The shapes of molecules really matter, say scientists from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the University of Scranton who timed the flow of vibrational heat energy through a water-surfactant-organic solvent system. The rate at which heat energy moves through a molecule depends specifically on the molecule’s structure, they found. "The flow of vibrational energy across a molecule is dependent upon where and how the energy is deposited," said Dana Dlott, a professor of chemistry at Illinois and a co-author of a paper to appear in the journal Science, as part of the Science Express Web site, on Sept. 23. "Unlike normal heat conduction, different excitations may travel across the molecule along different paths and at different rates."

To monitor energy flow, Dlott and his colleagues - Scranton chemistry professor John Deak, Illinois postdoctoral research associate Zhaohui Wang and graduate student Yoonsoo Pang, and Scranton undergraduate student Timothy Sechler - used an ultrafast laser spectrometer technique with picosecond time resolution.

The system the scientists studied is called a reverse micelle, and consisted of a nanodroplet containing 35 water molecules enclosed in a sphere of surfactant (sodium dioctyl sulfosuccinate) one molecule thick that was suspended in carbon tetrachloride. The ultrafast laser technique, developed at Illinois, monitored vibrational energy flow as it moved from water, through the surfactant shell out to the organic solvent, atom by atom.

When the researchers deposited energy in the nanodroplet, the vibrations moved through the surfactant and into the carbon tetrachloride within 10 picoseconds. However, when the energy was deposited directly into the surfactant, the vibrations required 20 to 40 picoseconds to move into the carbon tetrachloride. Even though the distance was shorter, the energy transfer took significantly longer. "This is opposite of what you would think in terms of simple and ordinary heat conduction," Dlott said. "To explain this strange result, we have to analyze the energy transfer in terms of specific vibrational couplings that occur through a vibrational cascade."

There are hundreds of different vibrations in the water-surfactant-organic solvent system, Dlott said. "When energy moves through molecules, the detailed structure of the molecules and the way the vibrations interact are extremely important."

When the water was excited by a laser pulse, the scientists report, much of the energy was immediately moved to the surfactant, which then efficiently transferred the energy to the carbon tetrachloride. But when the surfactant was excited by the laser, the energy took a different path among the atoms, delaying the transfer to the carbon tetrachloride.

"The movement of vibrational energy within and between molecules is a fundamental process that plays a significant role in condensed matter physics and chemistry," Dlott said. "In designing nanoscale devices, the shapes of the molecules must be designed not only to be small and fast, but also to efficiently move heat."

The National Science Foundation, the Air Force Office of Scientific Research and the U.S. Department of Energy supported this work.

James E. Kloeppel | University of Illinois
Further information:
http://www.uiuc.edu

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht SF State astronomer searches for signs of life on Wolf 1061 exoplanet
20.01.2017 | San Francisco State University

nachricht Molecule flash mob
19.01.2017 | Technische Universität Wien

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: Traffic jam in empty space

New success for Konstanz physicists in studying the quantum vacuum

An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Sustainable Water use in Agriculture in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

19.01.2017 | Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Helmholtz International Fellow Award for Sarah Amalia Teichmann

20.01.2017 | Awards Funding

An innovative high-performance material: biofibers made from green lacewing silk

20.01.2017 | Materials Sciences

Ion treatments for cardiac arrhythmia — Non-invasive alternative to catheter-based surgery

20.01.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>