Feeds

German boffins BREAK LAWS OF THERMODYNAMICS!

Kelvin joins Einstein in has-been corner?

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

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. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
MARS NEEDS WOMEN, claims NASA pseudo 'naut: They eat less
'Some might find this idea offensive' boffin admits
LOHAN crash lands on CNN
Overflies Die Welt en route to lively US news vid
Experts brand LOHAN's squeaky-clean box
Phytosanitary treatment renders Vulture 2 crate fit for export
No sail: NASA spikes Sunjammer
'Solar sail' demonstrator project binned
America's super-secret X-37B plane returns to Earth after nearly TWO YEARS aloft
674 days in space for US Air Force's mystery orbital vehicle
Carry On Cosmonaut: Willful Child is a poor taste Star Trek parody
Cringeworthy, crude and crass jokes abound in Steven Erikson’s sci-fi debut
Origins of SEXUAL INTERCOURSE fished out of SCOTTISH LAKE
Fossil find proves it first happened 385 million years ago
Human spacecraft dodge COMET CHUNKS pelting off Mars
Odyssey orbiter yet to report, though - comet's trailing trash poses new threat
You can crunch it all you like, but the answer is NOT always in the data
Hear that, 'data journalists'? Our analytics prof holds forth
prev story

Whitepapers

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.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
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.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.