Researchers at Tokyo Metropolitan University have discovered new ways to control the flow of heat through thin materials. This can improve thermoelectric devices.
The researchers took one atom thick layers of molybdenum disulfide and molybdenum diselenide and put them together. The layers could be joined in different ways. Scientists were able to create stacks of layers bound together by van der Waals forces. They can also be strongly coupled using more traditional techniques, notably chemical vapor deposition (CVD).
Scientists have seen that layers tightly bonded by CVD transmit significantly more heat than their loosely bonded counterparts. Layered heterostructures, like climbing, had significantly lower heat transfer rates.
This discovery will help create new thermoelectric materials in which heat can be efficiently channeled to be converted into electricity.