As the name suggests, thermoelectric devices are those that convert a temperature difference (i.e. thermal energy) into voltage (i.e. electrical energy). These devices lie at the heart of all thermocouple-based temperature measurement systems and thermoelectric generators (TEGs) used in space probes.
Thermoelectric devices are an integral part of modern-day research on energy scavenging or harvesting techniques. The energy scavenging approach seeks to identify freely available ‘waste’ energy sources and use them for generating electricity. Examples include various sources that dissipate excess energy (in this case, heat) into the environment; such as vehicular engines, industrial systems, electronic ICs, human body, etc. Using thermoelectric devices, one can utilize this ‘waste’ heat to generate small voltages for low-power systems such as wearable electronics, environment sensors and wireless networks. The challenge today is to increase the efficiency and viability of these devices by innovating in materials & device design.
Here are some of our stories on thermoelectrics research.
Towards Novel Memory Architectures with Better Operating Currents
Structural modifications to existing architectures predict lower programming currents in Phase Change Memory cells