Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Nano-thermometer enables first atomic-scale heat transfer measurements

Date:
June 12, 2013
Source:
University of Michigan
Summary:
In findings that could help overcome a major technological hurdle in the road toward smaller and more powerful electronics, an international research team has shown the unique ways in which heat dissipates at the tiniest scales.

An artist's representation of atomic-scale heat dissipation, which poses a serious obstacle to the development of novel nanoscale devices. University of Michigan engineering researchers have, for the first time, established a general framework for understanding heat dissipation in several nanoscale systems.
Credit: Enrique Shagun, Scixel

In findings that could help overcome a major technological hurdle in the road toward smaller and more powerful electronics, an international research team involving University of Michigan engineering researchers, has shown the unique ways in which heat dissipates at the tiniest scales.

Related Articles


A paper on the research is published in the June 13 edition of Nature.

When a current passes through a material that conducts electricity, it generates heat. Understanding where the temperature will rise in an electronic system helps engineers design reliable, high-performing computers, cell phones and medical devices, for example. While heat generation in larger circuits is well understood, classical physics can't describe the relationship between heat and electricity at the ultimate end of the nanoscale -- where devices are approximately one nanometer in size and consist of just a few atoms.

Within the next two decades, computer science and engineering researchers are expected to be working at this "atomic" scale, according to Pramod Reddy, U-M assistant professor of mechanical engineering and materials science and engineering who led the research.

"At 20 or 30 nanometers in size, the active regions of today's transistors have very small dimensions," Reddy said. "However, if industry keeps pace with Moore's law and continues shrinking the size of transistors to double their density on a circuit then atomic-scales are not far off.

"The most important thing then, is to understand the relationship between the heat dissipated and the electronic structure of the device, in the absence of which you can't really leverage the atomic scale. This work gives insights into that for the first time."

In the tangible, macroscale world, when electricity travels through a wire, the whole wire heats up, as do all the electrodes along it. In contrast, when the "wire" is a nanometer-sized molecule and only connecting two electrodes, the temperature raises predominantly in one of them.

"In an atomic scale device, all the heating is concentrated in one place and less so in other places," Reddy said.

In order to accomplish this, researchers in Reddy's lab -- doctoral students Woochul Lee and Wonho Jeong and post-doctoral fellow Kyeongtae Kim -- developed techniques to create stable atomic-scale devices and designed and built a custom nanoscale thermometer integrated into a cone-shaped device. Single molecules or atoms were trapped between the cone-shaped device and a thin plate of gold to study heat dissipation in prototypical molecular-scale circuits.

"The results from this work also firmly establish the validity of a heat-dissipation theory that was originally proposed by Rolf Landauer, a physicist from IBM," Reddy said. "Further, the insights obtained from this work also enable a deeper understanding of the relationship between heat dissipation and atomic-scale thermoelectric phenomena, which is the conversion of heat into electricity."

Researchers from the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid in Spain and the University of Konstanz in Germany also contributed to the work.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Woochul Lee, Kyeongtae Kim, Wonho Jeong, Linda Angela Zotti, Fabian Pauly, Juan Carlos Cuevas, Pramod Reddy. Heat dissipation in atomic-scale junctions. Nature, 2013; 498 (7453): 209 DOI: 10.1038/nature12183

Cite This Page:

University of Michigan. "Nano-thermometer enables first atomic-scale heat transfer measurements." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 12 June 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/06/130612133044.htm>.
University of Michigan. (2013, June 12). Nano-thermometer enables first atomic-scale heat transfer measurements. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/06/130612133044.htm
University of Michigan. "Nano-thermometer enables first atomic-scale heat transfer measurements." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/06/130612133044.htm (accessed October 30, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Mind-Controlled Prosthetic Arm Restores Amputee Dexterity

Mind-Controlled Prosthetic Arm Restores Amputee Dexterity

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 29, 2014) — A Swedish amputee who became the first person to ever receive a brain controlled prosthetic arm is able to manipulate and handle delicate objects with an unprecedented level of dexterity. The device is connected directly to his bone, nerves and muscles, giving him the ability to control it with his thoughts. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Robots Get Funky on the Dance Floor

Robots Get Funky on the Dance Floor

AP (Oct. 29, 2014) — Dancing, spinning and fighting robots are showing off their agility at "Robocomp" in Krakow. (Oct. 29) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Saharan Solar Project to Power Europe

Saharan Solar Project to Power Europe

Reuters - Business Video Online (Oct. 29, 2014) — A solar energy project in the Tunisian Sahara aims to generate enough clean energy by 2018 to power two million European homes. Matt Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Lowe's Testing Robot Sales Assistants in California Store

Lowe's Testing Robot Sales Assistants in California Store

Buzz60 (Oct. 29, 2014) — Lowe’s is testing out what it’s describing as a robotic shopping assistant in one of its Orchard Supply Hardware Stores in California. Jen Markham explains. Video provided by Buzz60
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