Friday January 27, 2017

Berkeley Vanadium Dioxide Discovery

For us science nerds, this is a discovery that will likely get you thinking of all sorts of applications that this could be useful in. They are telling us that vanadium dioxide conducts electricity but does not conduct heat. The thoughts of how this could be utilized in engines alone is fairly incredible. Thanks to Ski from the forums for the heads up.

There’s a known rule-breaker among materials, and a new discovery by an international team of scientists adds more evidence to back up the metal’s nonconformist reputation. According to a new study led by scientists at the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) and at the University of California, Berkeley, electrons in vanadium dioxide can conduct electricity without conducting heat.

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"The electrons were moving in unison with each other, much like a fluid, instead of as individual particles like in normal metals," said Wu. "For electrons, heat is a random motion. Normal metals transport heat efficiently because there are so many different possible microscopic configurations that the individual electrons can jump between. In contrast, the coordinated, marching-band-like motion of electrons in vanadium dioxide is detrimental to heat transfer as there are fewer configurations available for the electrons to hop randomly between."