Feeds

German boffins BREAK LAWS OF THERMODYNAMICS!

Kelvin joins Einstein in has-been corner?

High performance access to file storage

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. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Fancy joining Reg hack on quid-a-day challenge?
Recruiting now for charity starvation diet
Red-faced LOHAN team 'fesses up in blown SPEARS fuse fiasco
Standing in the corner, big pointy 'D' hats
KILLER SPONGES menacing California coastline
Surfers are safe, crustaceans less so
Opportunity selfie: Martian winds have given the spunky ol' rover a spring cleaning
Power levels up 70 per cent as the rover keeps on truckin'
Discovery time for 200m WONDER MATERIALS shaved from 4 MILLENNIA... to 4 years
Alloy, Alloy: Boffins in speed-classification breakthrough
Elon Musk's LEAKY THRUSTER gas stalls Space Station supply run
Helium seeps from Falcon 9 first stage, delays new legs for NASA robonaut
Top Secret US payload launched into space successfully
Clandestine NRO spacecraft sets off on its unknown mission
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.