A chemist’s team from University of Pennsylvania recently discovered a new way for turning heat energy into power on nanoscale. It has been a long established fact that heat travels in form of vibrations. Molecular vibrations increase as tempo of heat increases as a result vibration in one molecule leads to vibration in second one warming up all nearby molecules. In all organic materials, they thought only this one to be the mechanism of heat transfer till date. But this team of researcher took a fresh approach towards the concept and observed the process that takes place when energy is transferred from one molecule to another.
The professor of chemistry from the Penn’s School of Arts and Science along with a post doc in his lab, Galen Craven, took in the new information to scale temperature over a nanoscale and again observe the heat transfer mechanism. They build a model to see how molecular interaction is affected by temperature gradient keeping electron transfer process in view. Electron transfer is one of the most critical processes in chemistry, as Nitzan says. He also quotes that “Half of chemistry is electron transfer processes. It has been investigated for 100 years on the molecular scale.”
Electrons are the negatively charged constituents of atoms that keep orbiting around the positively charged nucleus. In metals, these electrons go from one molecule to other generating electric current. In the organic materials, however, electron transfer process needs more energy. As the molecule’s energy increases the electrons jump from one molecule to another. It is an important process for several chemical reactions. They made a series of mathematical equations to describe what happens when acceptor and donor are at various temperatures. Their new model demonstrates that heat transfer takes place when electron goes from higher to lower temperature molecule.
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