Toward Realization of Thermoelectric Power Generation Resilient to Irradiation
—Demonstration that Spin Thermoelectric Devices have High Tolerance to Heavy Ion Rays—
The combination of spin thermoelectric devices based on spintronics technology, and radioactive isotopes as heat sources, has potential as a next-generation method of power generation in applications such as power supplies for space probes. However, there has been no data thus far indicating the irradiation tolerance of spin thermoelectric devices.
Through analysis using an accelerator and synchrotron radiation, it was shown for the first time that a spin thermoelectric device has tolerance to irradiation (high-energy heavy ion rays).
It was determined that, with spin thermoelectric devices, thermoelectric performance does not degrade over hundreds of years, even when the decay heat of radioactive isotopes is used as a heat source. In the future, this can be expected to aid development of technology for safely and effectively using the heat produced by spent nuclear fuel and similar materials.