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Multifunctional nanowires based on Heusler alloys for energy harvesting in microscopic devices

Grant number: 22/16839-9
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Post-Doctoral
Effective date (Start): August 01, 2023
Effective date (End): July 31, 2025
Field of knowledge:Physical Sciences and Mathematics - Physics - Condensed Matter Physics
Principal Investigator:Fanny Béron
Grantee:Alberto Aguiar Mendonça
Host Institution: Instituto de Física Gleb Wataghin (IFGW). Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Campinas , SP, Brazil
Associated research grant:17/10581-1 - Emergent phenomena in reduced dimension systems, AP.ESP


With humanity's continuous increase in energy consumption, energy saving in sustainable development projects is a frequent concern. Therefore, the recovery of released energies has become an increasingly relevant topic. Generally, the dissipated heat harvesting in situations where the temperature varies only by units or tens of degrees does not perform well in more traditional methods, such as through thermoelectric pellets. This group of environments includes electronics, motors, and batteries, among many others. However, it is precisely here that most of the energy has been wasted worldwide. This project aims to investigate the development of a novel device for recovering energy from low-temperature variation through the thermomagnetic effect, as well as energies associated with vibration. For this, nanowire arrays will be grown in nanoporous alumina membranes, allowing for achieving flexible and microscopic-scale energy harvesters. The chosen composition, Ni65Mn20Ga15, is a Heusler alloy with a high potential to present a large magnetization variation in an abrupt martensitic transformation at room temperature, which can be induced either through heat pulses or pressure variations. Two nanowire fabrication methods will be explored: on one side, electrochemical deposition, for which the possibility of obtaining Heusler alloys was recently demonstrated, and metallic flux nanonucleation, where superior crystalline quality nanowires are expected, and the fabrication of Heusler alloys will be unprecedented. Therefore, this project aims to present significant innovations for both the field of nanomaterial preparation and the technology of harvesting commonly wasted energy on a large scale in the environment.

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