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Title: The Third Way of Thermal-Electric Conversion beyond Seebeck and Pyroelectric Effects

Thermal-electric conversion is crucial for smart energy control and harvesting, such as thermal sensing and waste heat recovering. So far, people are aware of only two ways of direct thermal-electric conversion, Seebeck and pyroelectric effects, each with distinct working conditions and limitations. Here, we report the third way of thermal-electric conversion beyond Seebeck and pyroelectric effects. In contrast to Seebeck effect that requires spatial temperature difference, the-third-way converts the time-dependent ambient temperature fluctuation into electricity, similar to the behavior of pyroelectricity. However, the-third-way is also distinct from pyroelectric effect in the sense that it does not require polar materials but applies to general conducting systems. We demonstrate that the-third-way results from the temperature-fluctuation-induced dynamical charge redistribution. It is a consequence of the fundamental nonequilibrium thermodynamics and has a deep connection to the topological phase in quantum mechanics. Our findings expand our knowledge and provide new means of thermal-electric energy harvesting.
Authors:
 [1]
  1. Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
1120714
Report Number(s):
LA-UR-14-20980
DOE Contract Number:
AC52-06NA25396
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
75 CONDENSED MATTER PHYSICS, SUPERCONDUCTIVITY AND SUPERFLUIDITY; 30 DIRECT ENERGY CONVERSION; 32 ENERGY CONSERVATION, CONSUMPTION, AND UTILIZATION; 36 MATERIALS SCIENCE; 77 NANOSCIENCE AND NANOTECHNOLOGY ENERGY SCIENCES; MATERIALS SCIENCE