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Transforming iron-based alloys into advanced thermoelectric materials with brief heat treatment
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Transforming iron-based alloys into advanced thermoelectric materials with brief heat treatment
by Riko Seibo
Tokyo, Japan (SPX) May 11, 2024

Researchers from the National Institute for Materials Science (NIMS) and Nagoya University have developed a method to convert iron-based amorphous alloys, commonly used in soft magnets, into efficient thermoelectric materials. This conversion is achieved through a brief, three-minute heat treatment, introducing a method to manipulate materials at the microstructural level for improved energy conversion.

This pioneering study illustrates the potential of microstructure engineering in enhancing the transverse thermoelectric conversion, where electrical and thermal currents are converted orthogonally, rather than in parallel as seen in longitudinal effects. This could simplify the design of thermoelectric devices, potentially increasing their durability and reducing their cost.

The researchers focused on the anomalous Nernst effect, a key transverse thermoelectric effect. They found that this short heat treatment significantly elevates the anomalous Nernst coefficient, with the effect largely attributed to nano-sized copper precipitates within the alloy.

Such improvements in thermoelectric properties suggest that both the electronic structure and precise microstructural control are critical for developing superior thermoelectric materials. The team believes that these findings could lead to broader applications in sustainable power generation and thermal management technologies, using commonly available magnetic materials.

The process also allows for easy mass production and scalability of the thermoelectric materials, making it a promising avenue for future development in electronic device applications and thermal sensing technologies.

Research Report:Creation of flexible spin-caloritronic material with giant transverse thermoelectric conversion by nanostructure engineering

Related Links
National Institute for Materials Science, Japan
Space Technology News - Applications and Research

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