- Conference date: 12–16 August 2012
- Location: Örenäs Castle, Sweden
The recent decade has seen a doubling of the efficiency of thermoelectric converters through the use of nanotechnology. Here we first outline how specific doping impurities in semiconductors, called resonant levels, mimic the effects of nanostructures and give the same benefits in bulk semiconductors. Resonant impurities catalyse the formation of new bands in semiconductors, which can be engineered to tailor the thermopower. The result is an efficiency increase of 50% in BiSb and more in PbTe. Then, we describe a new solid-state heat-to-electricity conversion mechanism, the spin-Seebeck effect, which arises from driving spinpolarized particles out of thermal equilibrium. This generates a spin flux that is converted into a voltage in a non-polarized adjacent material; the effect can be as large as the highest thermoelectric voltages in semiconductors. Nanotechnologies and these new effects add new design variables to the old problem of optimizing the thermoelectric figure of merit, resulting in much improved thermal efficiencies.
- Thermoelectric effects
- IV-VI semiconductors
- Thermoelectric energy conversion
Daniel Baumann, Mark G. Jackson, Peter Adshead, Alexandre Amblard, Amjad Ashoorioon, Nicola Bartolo, Rachel Bean, Maria Beltrán, Francesco de Bernardis, Simeon Bird, Xingang Chen, Daniel J. H. Chung, Loris Colombo, Asantha Cooray, Paolo Creminelli, Scott Dodelson, Joanna Dunkley, Cora Dvorkin, Richard Easther, Fabio Finelli, Raphael Flauger, Mark P. Hertzberg, Katherine Jones‐Smith, Shamit Kachru, Kenji Kadota, Justin Khoury, William H. Kinney, Eiichiro Komatsu, Lawrence M. Krauss, Julien Lesgourgues, Andrew Liddle, Michele Liguori, Eugene Lim, Andrei Linde, Sabino Matarrese, Harsh Mathur, Liam McAllister, Alessandro Melchiorri, Alberto Nicolis, Luca Pagano, Hiranya V. Peiris, Marco Peloso, Levon Pogosian, Elena Pierpaoli, Antonio Riotto, Uroš Seljak, Leonardo Senatore, Sarah Shandera, Eva Silverstein, Tristan Smith, Pascal Vaudrevange, Licia Verde, Ben Wandelt, David Wands, Scott Watson, Mark Wyman, Amit Yadav, Wessel Valkenburg and Matias Zaldarriaga
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