Nano-fridges for microchips come closer to reality

October 9th, 2008 - 5:09 pm ICT by ANI  

Washington, October 8 (ANI): UAB and CSIC researchers have developed a new material that can be used to manufacture smaller and faster computers.
The researchers have revealed that the new material is based on supernets formed with two alternative layers, one made of silicon (Si) and the other of germanium (Ge) nanocrystals (quantum dots).
Their project proposes to place the quantum dots in such a fashion that the dots on one layer would not be vertically aligned with those of the lower layer.
According to them, this can be 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 researchers say that the uncorrelation between consecutive layers will result in the reduction in thermal conductivity, as it becomes more difficult to transport heat perpendicularly from the multi-layers.
They believe that the reduction in thermal conductivity can 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 can also be used in high-temperature applications, such as in recovering heat generated in combustion processes and converting it to electrical energy, the researchers say.
The study has been published in Applied Physics Letters. (ANI)

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