New Research


Make use of Waste Heat via Organic Molecules

‐Thermoelectricity of Single Molecular Junctions‐

associate professor Ryo Yamada

   Nowadays, considerable quantity of energy is wasted as heat. Thermoelectric materials that generate electricity from temperature gradients are of particular interest because they can convert the waste heats to useful electricity. Especially, thermoelectric conversion around room temperature would be useful as ubiquitous power sources for sensors and microelectronics.

   We are interested in thermoelectricity of organic materials because they will make it possible to assemble device by economical processes such as printing and fit to curved and soft surfaces such as a human body. Although thin films and crystalline are usually used to make organic electronic devices, we focus on single molecular junctions in which a single molecule is connected between two electrodes. In the single molecular junctions, it is predicted that one dimensional electronic structures and high thermal resistivity are realized, that are required for the highly efficient thermoelectric conversion. We succeeded in measuring the thermoelectricity of single molecular junction and found interesting features. For example, the voltage generated by a molecular junction changes its polarity when the material of electrode is changed. Thermoelectricity also provides fruitful information on electronic structures of interfaces between electrodes and organic molecules.

   In our laboratory, we develop not only thermoelectric device but also new electronic functions using organic materials. Please find our researches on our web site.

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