Thermoelectric Transport in Bismuth Nanowires: Experimental Results
The most commonly used refrigeration technology today is based on a vapor-compression cycle in which the working fluid is tetrafluoroethane (C2H2F4or R134a) or chlorodifluoromethane (CHClF2or R22). R134a was developed as a replacement for freon (R12), because freon destroys the protective ozone layer in the stratosphere. Unfortunately, R134a could contribute to global warming1. This has prompted an intense search for new refrigeration technologies. The principal advantages of Peltier coolers are their robustness and simplicity, their compactness, the ease with which they are controlled, and the fact that they can be reversed for use as heaters. Unfortunately, the low thermodynamic efficiency of existing devices makes them unsuitable for mid-sized and large air-conditioning and refrigeration systems. New developments in nanosciences have resulted in thermoelectric materials with a room temperature thermoelectric figure of merit of such magnitude that this problem may be overcome. Thermoelectric cooling may then be a competitive candidate for refrigeration systems that are free from green-house effect producing fluids.
KeywordsGraphite Ozone Boron Epoxy Tungsten
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