II-VI Marlow Blog

Pressuring Climate Change

With climate change posing an increasing threat to our environment, scientists believe pressure in thermoelectric generators and thermionic emissions could be the solution.

These alternative energy sources have provided renewable power by recycling “wasted” heat. Examples of this technology are found in gas pipelines and spacecraft. While this has contributed a sizable reduction in the nation’s energy budget, it still hasn’t reached its full potential. The flaw in current thermoelectric compounds is that it only truly succeeds at high heat. Better performance at room temperature is actually the most critical form of renewable energy, but that hasn’t seen improvement in 60 years.

Until now…

Scientist Liu-Cheng Chen hypothesized that combining pressure and charged chromium particles with lead selenide would produce this greater form of thermoelectric energy. He proved his theory by placing the lead selenide under 30x greater the normal atmospheric pressure. This caused certain changes at the atomic level and produced the most efficient level of room temp thermoelectric generation to date.

Another example of this groundbreaking discovery is thermionic emission of graphene. Thermionic emission happens when a metal is heated and electrons are shot out of the surface. Historically, these emissions have been used to power vacuums and has been experimented with heavily. Emissions from graphene are especially unique because the material is a nanomaterial that’s atomically thin, making it an unusual candidate for this type of energy generation.

Researchers at Singapore University of Technology and Design have created a new general framework to capture thermionic emissions in graphene. Undergrad student, Yueyi Chin, stated that traditional methods of recording this energy can be up to 50% inaccurate! This new theoretical framework helps decrease that inaccuracy by accounting for graphene’s reaction at higher energy states. The electronic properties of graphene are no longer the mystery it used to be. With this new thermionic emission model, we can better see the potential of graphene materials and devices.

Graphene thermionic emissions and pressurized materials will enable scientists to further experiment ways to create renewable energy and reduce our carbon footprint.

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New Silicon-based Research Converts Waste Heat into Energy

Body Heat - The Future to Charging Medical Devices

Current implanted medical devices, including pacemakers, have an enormous drawback due to their limited battery life. If a patient’s battery within their medical device runs out of power unexpectedly, it can have serious health implicants. This shortcoming restricts the ability for long term usage, but there may be a solution- the human body itself.

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A New Thermoelectric Material Breaks Records

In the realm of thermoelectric technology, there is an ongoing exploration for better, more efficient materials. Scientists keep hard at work testing, hypothesizing, and theorizing about ways to make devices that can withstand higher temperatures, pressures, with a higher energy output, and can function at smaller temperature differences.

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This entry was posted in Power generation and thermoelectric technology on March 07, 2019 by II-VI Marlow Industries

NASA’s Mars Opportunity Rover 15 Year Mission Comes to an End

NASA recently announced it will be concluding its first ever Mars rover mission after the rover has been out of service for nearly a year. The Mars rover, Opportunity, will be forever known as the longest living robot on another planet to date. Amongst its accomplishments include, photographing Mars red plains and revealing a land previously unknown to man.

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This entry was posted in Thermoelectrics , thermoelectric technology , aerospace and industries on February 14, 2019 by II-VI Marlow Industries

Types of Materials for Harvesting Energy from Heat

What do you know about how a thermoelectric generator is constructed? Do you understand the Seebeck and Peltier Effects? What about how thermoelectric technology can be applied in different industries? Ok, last question. What do you know about the materials used in the construction of these devices?

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This entry was posted in TE materials , thermoelectric technology and Technical Library on February 07, 2019 by II-VI Marlow Industries

Thermoelectric Technologies Used in the Automotive Industry

We’ve talked before about how thermoelectric technologies are present in the medical, aerospace, and defense industries as a reliable and efficient energy source. There are some amazing things that can be accomplished in these industries with the help of our technology, but there are more common applications as well. So much so, that these devices can be applied to something that most of us use every single day - cars.

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This entry was posted in thermoelectric cooling , thermoelectric technology , industries and automotive on January 17, 2019 by II-VI Marlow Industries

NASA InSight Mars Lander Safely Touches Down

NASA has been busy at work engineering a robot assigned with the task of journeying to the Red Planet. It is different from the Mars rovers, such as Spirit and Opportunity, as it has a totally different task at hand. This NASA robot named InSight is a lander, with a specific duty to explore what lies below the planet’s surface. It has been busy at work since it touched down in late 2018.

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This entry was posted in thermoelectric technology and aerospace on January 03, 2019 by II-VI Marlow Industries

NASA Successfully Tests Mini-Nuclear Fission Reactor For Space Exploration

Thermoelectric technology has an important role in space travel and discovery, which we have laid out extensively in previous blog posts, but what about nuclear power?

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This entry was posted in Power generation , thermoelectric technology , aerospace and industries on December 06, 2018 by II-VI Marlow Industries

Thermoelectric Technology in the Medical Industry

Thermoelectric technologies have a wide range of applications across multiple industries. They are great alternative energy sources due to scalability, sustainability, efficiency, precise temperature control, and long operational life just to name a few.

One of the most dynamic and exciting industries in modern society is medicine. People are living longer and there are more cures to diseases than ever before thanks to continual medical advancements.

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