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Quantum dots may hold the key to harvesting excess heat from electronic circuits

electronic-circuit

Recent development in quantum dots entails more than just display technology, it’s also exposing us to new possibilities in regards to using these tiny semiconductor crystals to harvest energy on a nanoscale.

Physicists from the University of Wurzburg are proposing  that quantum dots can be used to generate electricity by harvesting heat.  Electronic circuits generate a lot of heat, and most of the time we try to get rid of it.  The researchers, however, think that we can create a rectifier that leverages quantum dots made of gallium arsenide and aluminum gallium arsenide to convert alternating current into direct current.

The strategy is to connect one dot to an electronic circuit to provide AC in the form of voltage fluctuations which mimic excess heat, and the other dot for direct current for picowatts of power.  The team was not able to measure the amount of energy extracted, but was able to prove that the concept of conversion was possible. You can read more about this by clicking the source link below or dive deeper by reading the full findings in the Physical Review Letters.

Source: APS

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