In nust «Misa» has created material for «eternal» batteries

© Illustration RIA Novosti . A. Polyanina the attached image marked justcocaine atoms of cobalt (Co) and antimony (Sb) constituting the crystal lattice of the intermetallic compound of the cobalt-antimony. In the center is a large atom India, which is not included in the crystal lattice and located in the void as a «guest» atom.In nust «Misa» has created material for «eternal» batteries© Illustration RIA Novosti . A. Polyanina

The staff of the energy efficiency Centre nust «MISIS» developed an economical and quick way to produce the material used to make highly efficient thermoelectric generators for spacecraft. This material is able to directly convert thermal energy into electrical energy. Article with results was published in the Journal of Materials Chemistry A.

The effect of conversion of thermal energy into electrical energy was discovered in 1821 by German physicist Thomas Seebeck. However, technologies that use the Seebeck effect in an industrial scale, is still far from perfect. However, thermoelectric materials have been widely used in power engineering and refrigeration installations from the heat of radioactive decay thermoelectric generators are installed at such world famous spacecraft like Cassini and New Horizons. The same principle works the generator of the Curiosity Rover. There are more mundane examples: for example, they are developing the thermal alternators that can increase the effectiveness of various types of power plants, there are examples of producing electricity from the heat transmitted through the elements of the exhaust system of the vehicle.

© Nust «MISIS»Micrograph of crystals of CoSb3 with inclusions of India (scale – 10 nanometers in a centimeter)In nust «Misa» has created material for «eternal» batteries© nust «MISIS»Micrograph of crystals of CoSb3 with inclusions of India (scale – 10 nanometers in a centimeter)

Received nust «MISIS» thermoelectric materials combine two kinds of atoms rigidly fixed in the crystal lattice, which ensures high conductivity, and freely oscillating, which dramatically reduces the thermal conductivity because weakly associated with the crystal skeleton atoms dissipate heat efficiently. This combination was achieved through the creation of intermetallic compounds, crystal structure which contains voids. Filling their «guest» atoms without disrupting the crystal lattice, scientists and get the necessary combination of properties.

© Nust «MISIS»Micrograph of crystals of CoSb3 with inclusions of India (scale – 5 nanometers in a centimeter)In nust «Misa» has created material for «eternal» batteries© nust «MISIS»Micrograph of crystals of CoSb3 with inclusions of India (scale – 5 nanometers in a centimeter)

«We managed to solve the problem through the use of India as a placeholder and the selection of the initial ratio of metals, which allowed to synthesize the desired thermoelectric composition in an open reactor, – says member of the research group, researcher, Center for energy efficiency nust «MISIS» Andriy Voronin. – Through this approach we were able to conduct the synthesis in the open reactor in just two minutes with subsequent annealing of the resulting sample for five hours. The combination of the material used and the features of synthesis has accelerated the process of creating a few dozen times, which also affects the cost of obtaining such materials. In this case the values of the thermoelectric efficiency ZT = 1.5 steel a record of skutterudite with one type of «guest» atoms.»

© Nust «MISIS»Employee energy efficiency Centre nust «MISIS» Andriy Voronin on the background of the installation of electric-spark sinteringIn nust «Misa» has created material for «eternal» batteries© nust «MISIS»Employee energy efficiency Centre nust «MISIS» Andriy Voronin on the background of the installation of electric-spark sintering

As the authors of the new work, the previously proposed scheme of thermoelectric materials was much more expensive and time-consuming.

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