Nanometric Bismuth wire / nanoporous silica composites for Peltier cooling – NanoBiPelt
Cooling technologies are used in many industrial fields from mainstream applications such as household refrigerators to high technology applications such as cooling of optoelectronic and superconducting devices. Up to now, although solid state Peltier coolers exist, cooling technologies are mainly based on compressors and cryofluids with all the inconvenience coming with them. This is because the efficiency and the power flux of the Peltier coolers are too low as well as their rather high cost. However, nanostructuration of the best thermoelectric materials application for low temperatures Peltier applications could significantly improve their efficiency and in particular in the case of very small diameter Bi-Sb nanowires, as predicted by calculations almost two decades ago. This will permit to significantly improve their cooling potential and make possible the development of a competitive solid state cooler at low temperatures, particularly below 200 K. However, the thermoelectric properties of these Bi-Sb nanowires with diameters smaller than 10 nm has never been studied because of technical synthesis problems. The present project will fill this void thanks to an original method of synthesis permitting the design of nanocomposites containing Bi-Sb nanowires of very small diameters.
The aim of the NanoBiPelt project is to develop a new type of nano-composites for Peltier cooling applications. Bi-Sb nanowires of 0.5-5 nm diameter will be incorporated in 1D pores of zeolites or mesoporous silica in order to exacerbate the electronic properties of bismuth and to strongly decrease its thermal conductivity. In the project, we will use original and innovative way for designing nano-composites under high pressure and high temperature conditions which will permit to obtain highly homogenous and crystalline Bi-Sb nanowires of very small diameter. The impact on their structure, physical properties and especially thermoelectric properties will be studied as a function of diameter from few nanometers to sub-nanometer scale. The aim of the project is to study the performance of such a nano-composite in order to design an efficient cooling device without cryogenic fluids. It will be divided in two parts: optimization of the synthesis process of the nano-composite; study of its physical and more particularly thermoelectric properties. In order to achieve the aims of the project, a complementary consortium of chemists and physicists has been formed by three academic partners, the ICGM and the L2C of Montpellier, the Néel Institute of Grenoble with all the needed skills in synthesis of micro-/meso-porous materials, in high pressure techniques, spectroscopy (electronic and vibrational) and thermoelectricity.
The success of the present project would permit firstly to design Peltier devices of cooling potential down to 100 K with main target cooling applications for optoelectronic and superconducting devices.
This will permit to propose new material solutions for large scale Peltier cooling applications without tellurium, because Peltier devices based on Bi2Te3 alloys are currently the main thermoelectric cooler used, especially above 250 K. In case of success of the project, we will contact the SATT of the region Occitanie in order to go the next step of the industrial development of the Peltier device based of nanocomposite obtained in the present project.
Monsieur Romain Viennois (Institut de chimie moléculaire et des matériaux - Institut Charles Gerhardt Montpellier)
The author of this summary is the project coordinator, who is responsible for the content of this summary. The ANR declines any responsibility as for its contents.
L2C Laboratoire Charles Coulomb
ICGM Institut de chimie moléculaire et des matériaux - Institut Charles Gerhardt Montpellier
NEEL Institut Néel
Help of the ANR 350,338 euros
Beginning and duration of the scientific project: March 2020 - 42 Months