Feeds

German boffins BREAK LAWS OF THERMODYNAMICS!

Kelvin joins Einstein in has-been corner?

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

As you probably know, heat is one of the enemies of electronics, and heat management is a major design constraint of microelectronics. Now, a German research group has demonstrated using waste heat to get electricity.

No, we’re not really talking about perpetual motion here. What the researchers have observed is that in magnetic tunnel structures, changes in temperature produce a voltage across the structure.

We already use magnetic tunneling in hard drive and MRAM (magnetoresistive) technologies. The PTB Braunschweig say the thermoelectric effect they have observed could be used to monitor and control the thermoelectric voltages in highly integrated circuits.

The temperature difference across a magnetic tunnel

can create electricity, German researchers say. Source: PTB Braunschweig.

The magnetic tunnel consists of two magnetic layers separated by a 1nm insulator. When used in something like a disk drive head, magnetization is used to control the current flowing across the structures. When the magnetic poles are aligned, current flows freely; when opposed, resistance is much greater.

What the PTB researchers have noted is that the magnetization of the layers also impacts how the thermal current flows. The thermal resistance of the structure, like the electrical resistance, is greater when the poles are opposed.

If the structure is heated unevenly, it generates a thermoelectric voltage across the structure, effectively turning waste heat in a system into a small, but usable, source of electricity for other components. ®

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
FORGET the CLIMATE: FATTIES are a MUCH BIGGER problem - study
Fat guy? Drink or smoke? You're worse than a TERRORIST
Renewable energy 'simply WON'T WORK': Top Google engineers
Windmills, solar, tidal - all a 'false hope', say Stanford PhDs
Rosetta probot drilling DENIED: Philae has its 'LEG in the AIR'
NOT best position for scientific fulfillment
SEX BEAST SEALS may be egging each other on to ATTACK PENGUINS
Boffin: 'I think the behaviour is increasing in frequency'
HUMAN DNA 'will be FOUND ON MOON' – rocking boffin Brian Cox
Crowdfund plan to stimulate Blighty's space programme
Post-pub nosh neckfiller: The MIGHTY Scotch egg
Off to the boozer? This delicacy might help mitigate the effects
I'M SO SORRY, sobs Rosetta Brit boffin in 'sexist' sexy shirt storm
'He is just being himself' says proud mum of larger-than-life physicist
NASA launches new climate model at SC14
75 days of supercomputing later ...
Britain's HUMAN DNA-strewing Moon mission rakes in £200k
3 days, and Kickstarter moves lander 37% nearer takeoff
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Getting ahead of the compliance curve
Learn about new services that make it easy to discover and manage certificates across the enterprise and how to get ahead of the compliance curve.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.