(May 17, 2016) “Researchers from University of Groningen and the University of Manchester have now, for the first time, directly detected the Peltier effect in graphene that is either one or two atoms thick [and] showed that the effect can be switched from heating to cooling by tuning the type and density of the charge carriers inside the material,” reported Nanowerk.com.
The Peltier effect “is a temperature difference that appears when a voltage is applied between two electrodes connected to a semiconductor material,” and “allows the electrical control of cooling and heating,” according to Nanowerk.
Graphene has a two-dimensional nature being only one atom thick, making it an excellent candidate “to demonstrate a fully tuneable Peltier effect.” Nanowerk reported, “Electrical contacts to graphene allowed to electrically control the cooling and heating via the Peltier effect. To detect this cooling and heating, the researchers constructed sensitive nanoscale thermometers that directly measured the temperature of electrons in graphene.”
“This practical approach is the first of its kind for any two-dimensional material, and its sensitivity is a thousand times better than that of its predecessors, down to 0.1 milliKelvin,” said Nanowerk, hinting at how this could lead to more sustainable electronics.
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