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1546-2080 Online :: 1546-203X Print
Improved Thermoelectrics at the Nanoscale
Volume 6, Issue 3


Authors:
Akram Boukai, University of Michigan

Abstract:
Energy is the ultimate currency that drives the world economy. Without energy, the global economy would cease to function normally. Most of the world’s energy comes from the burning of fossil fuels such as coal and oil. Unfortunately, these fossil fuels are limited and pollute the atmosphere. The rising costs and demand of energy products and the alarming rate of global warming have focused research efforts into alternative forms of renewable energy. Thermoelectrics are one class of renewable energy producing devices. Thermoelectrics operate by converting temperature differences into electrical power and vice versa. They find limited use due to their low efficiencies and high cost. This article will review the operation of thermoelectrics and their current state-of-the-art. It will also explore future promising research endeavors that aim to increase their efficiency.

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