Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Cool New Material May Double Computer Speeds

Date:
February 14, 2000
Source:
Michigan State University
Summary:
A new thermoelectric material that may someday double the speed at which a computer operates has been discovered by a team of scientists, including several from Michigan State University.

A new thermoelectric material that may someday double the speed at which a computer operates has been discovered by a team of scientists, including several from Michigan State University.

Related Articles


When jolted with an electrical current, the temperature of current thermoelectric materials can drop by as much as 60 degrees. This new material could make the drop as great as 100 degrees. Eventually it could be used to cool items such as computer chips, which operate much more efficiently at lower temperatures.

The discovery of this material, which is a combination of three elements - cesium, bismuth and tellurium - is detailed in the Feb. 11 issue of the journal Science.

"We are excited about this material because it out-performs the current material at this lower temperature," said Mercouri Kanatzidis, an MSU professor of chemistry in whose laboratory the discovery was made. "The material currently used in this process was discovered in the 1950s and since then no one has been able to do better.

"What we've done, at least so far, is demonstrate that a new material actually exists and can out-perform the current material in a given temperature range."

Another problem this material could eventually help to alleviate is the relatively inefficient way computers cool themselves. Currently, most computers use fans for this extremely important process.

"As these computer chips become smaller and more powerful, they generate more heat," Kanatzidis said. "A fan is not going to be enough. We'll need a more active way to remove the heat."

It's not impossible to cool electronic devices to very low temperatures, but it's challenging. For example, liquid helium and liquid nitrogen work well, but not necessarily on a home computer.

"Those involve additional infrastructure that makes it bulky and inconvenient," Kanatzidis said. "People would like to have an electronic device they can plug in and cool to lower temperatures."

Kanatzidis stresses that much additional work is needed before this new material will have practical applications.

"Other, more practical issues, need to be explored," he said. "What is its long-term stability? Can it be manufactured in large quantities? Can it be further improved? Will it be affordable?"

Thermoelectric materials also can work in reverse, Kanatzidis said. When a current flows through it, one end is cooled while the other is heated.

"In situations like that, that waste heat could possibly be converted into useful electricity," he said.

The discovery of the new material by Kanatzidis and colleagues stems from several years of basic research. Must of the research was funded by a grant from the Office of Naval Research.

Other members of the research team include Duck-Young Chung, an MSU research associate; Tim Hogan, MSU professor of electrical engineering; Ctirad Uher and Marina Bastea of the University of Michigan; and Carl Kannawurf, Paul Brazis and Melissa Rocci-Lane of Northwestern University.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Michigan State University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Michigan State University. "Cool New Material May Double Computer Speeds." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 February 2000. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/02/000214065315.htm>.
Michigan State University. (2000, February 14). Cool New Material May Double Computer Speeds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 26, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/02/000214065315.htm
Michigan State University. "Cool New Material May Double Computer Speeds." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/02/000214065315.htm (accessed November 26, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Matter & Energy News

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Who Will Failed Nuclear Talks Hurt Most?

Who Will Failed Nuclear Talks Hurt Most?

Reuters - Business Video Online (Nov. 25, 2014) With no immediate prospect of sanctions relief for Iran, and no solid progress in negotiations with the West over the country's nuclear programme, Ciara Lee asks why talks have still not produced results and what a resolution would mean for both parties. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Flying Enthusiast Converts Real-Life Aircraft Cockpit Into Simulator

Flying Enthusiast Converts Real-Life Aircraft Cockpit Into Simulator

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 25, 2014) A virtual flying enthusiast converts parts of a written-off Airbus aircraft into a working flight simulator in his northern Slovenian home. Jim Drury reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Car Park Solution for Flexible Green Energy

Car Park Solution for Flexible Green Energy

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 24, 2014) A British solar power start-up says that by covering millions of existing car park spaces around the UK with flexible solar panels, the country's power problems could be solved. Suzannah Butcher reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Microsoft Adds Robot Guards, Ushers In Sci-Fi Apocalypse

Microsoft Adds Robot Guards, Ushers In Sci-Fi Apocalypse

Newsy (Nov. 23, 2014) Microsoft has robotic security guards working at its Silicon Valley Campus. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins