Researchers from Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research (JNCASR) have found a novel compound that exhibits poor thermal conductivity in the 25-425 degree C range but shows good electrical conductivity.
Developed by a team of researchers led by Dr Kanishka Biswas from Bengaluru’s Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research (JNCASR) silver copper telluride (AgCuTe), shows promise as a thermoelectric material for converting waste heat into electricity.
According to researchers, nearly 65% of utilized energy is wasted as heat; the focus is on developing materials that exhibit good thermoelectric property with both glass- and metal-like properties. Potential applications of the thermoelectric technology are in automobile industry, chemical, thermal and steel power plants where large quantities of heat are wasted.
Due to the low thermal conductivity of the material developed by JNCASR, one end of the 8 mm-long rod that is contact with waste heat remains hot while the other end maintains cold temperature. The temperature difference is essential for the generation of electrical voltage. At the same time, the material exhibits good electrical conductivity like metal. The results were published in the journal Angewandte Chemie.