Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New clues on thermodynamic behavior in small systems

Date:
February 4, 2014
Source:
Universidad de Barcelona
Summary:
The energy lost in small systems, like nanodevices, can be decisive in order to obtain an optimal functioning of this kind of systems. Under a thermodynamic point of view, the application of the stability theory and classical statistical mechanics to the description of small systems under destabilizing external conditions reveals a constant generation of heat while the system oscillates between two structural configurations or thermodynamic phases. 

The energy lost in small systems, like nanodevices, can be decisive in order to obtain an optimal functioning of this kind of systems. Under a thermodynamic point of view, the application of the stability theory and classical statistical mechanics to the description of small systems under destabilizing external conditions reveals a constant generation of heat while the system oscillates between two structural configurations or thermodynamic phases.

Related Articles


A research published on the journal Physical Review E, and signed by Agustín Pérez, from the Department of Fundamental Physics of the University of Barcelona, and Iván Santamaría, from the National Autonomous University of Mexico, analyses the implications of the finite size of the system on its thermodynamic behavior.

"The results obtained in this research are of great interest since they underlie the physics of the energy generation and conversion nanodevices. Potential applications have been recently reported for energy nano-generators, systems based on the pyroelectric effect, and electric energy storage systems like batteries," explains Agustín Pérez.

When a macroscopic system is subjected to destabilizing conditions, it separates into two or more phases that may coexist in equilibrium. This involves the formation of interfaces and, finally, new thermodynamic systems emerge.

However, when the system is finite and small enough, like nanodevices, the formation of an interface could imply an excessively high energetic cost and, therefore, becomes energetically unfavorable. Thus, this system will remain in a stationary state strongly sensitive to fluctuations. Nevertheless, since the thermodynamic parameters of both states differ from those of the external bath, a thermodynamic force known as critical oscillation appears driving the state of the system towards the unstable state externally imposed were again it cannot remain. "As a result of this description, it can be predicted that this peculiar behavior of small systems underlie the dynamic of energy generating, storage or conversion nanodevices," Pérez concludes.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Universidad de Barcelona. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. I. Santamaría-Holek, A. Pérez-Madrid. Thermostatistical description of small systems in nonequilibrium conditions: Energy conversion and harvesting. Physical Review E, 2014; 89 (1) DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevE.89.012144

Cite This Page:

Universidad de Barcelona. "New clues on thermodynamic behavior in small systems." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 February 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140204073934.htm>.
Universidad de Barcelona. (2014, February 4). New clues on thermodynamic behavior in small systems. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 26, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140204073934.htm
Universidad de Barcelona. "New clues on thermodynamic behavior in small systems." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140204073934.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

NASA's First 3-D Printer In Space Creates Its First Object

NASA's First 3-D Printer In Space Creates Its First Object

Newsy (Nov. 26, 2014) — The International Space Station is now using a proof-of-concept 3D printer to test additive printing in a weightless, isolated environment. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Bolivian Recycling Initiative Turns Plastic Waste Into School Furniture

Bolivian Recycling Initiative Turns Plastic Waste Into School Furniture

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 26, 2014) — Innovative recycling project in La Paz separates city waste and converts plastic garbage into school furniture made from 'plastiwood'. Tara Cleary reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Blu-Ray Discs Getting Second Run As Solar Panels

Blu-Ray Discs Getting Second Run As Solar Panels

Newsy (Nov. 26, 2014) — Researchers at Northwestern University are repurposing Blu-ray movies for better solar panel technology thanks to the discs' internal structures. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Today's Prostheses Are More Capable Than Ever

Today's Prostheses Are More Capable Than Ever

Newsy (Nov. 26, 2014) — Advances in prosthetics are making replacement body parts stronger and more lifelike than they’ve ever been. 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