Feeds

German boffins BREAK LAWS OF THERMODYNAMICS!

Kelvin joins Einstein in has-been corner?

Build a business case: developing custom apps

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. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Boffins attempt to prove the UNIVERSE IS JUST A HOLOGRAM
Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy?
Our LOHAN spaceplane ballocket Kickstarter climbs through £8000
Through 25 per cent but more is needed: Get your UNIQUE rewards!
China building SUPERSONIC SUBMARINE that travels in a BUBBLE
Shanghai to San Fran in two hours would be a trick, though
LOHAN tunes into ultra long range radio
And verily, Vultures shall speak status unto distant receivers
SpaceX prototype rocket EXPLODES over Texas. 'Tricky' biz, says Elon Musk
No injuries or near injuries. Flight stayed in designated area
Galileo, Galileo! Galileo, Galileo! Galileo fit to go. Magnifico
I'm just a poor boy, nobody loves me. But at least I can find my way with ESA GPS by 2017
EOS, Lockheed to track space junk from Oz
WA facility gets laser-eyes out of the fog
prev story

Whitepapers

Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Backing up distributed data
Eliminating the redundant use of bandwidth and storage capacity and application consolidation in the modern data center.
The essential guide to IT transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIOs automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.