Electricity production technology
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obtaining direct electric current under the influence of cosmic neutrinos, other electromagnetic and thermal radiation
The invention is protected by international patent WO2016142056A1.
Neutrinovoltaic technology is based on the use of a multilayer nanomaterial of alternating layers of graphene (monoatomic layer of graphite) and doped silicon, which converts electromagnetic radiation and heat into electric current.
The awarding of the Nobel Prize in physics to Andrey Geim and Konstantin Novoselov in 2010 for "advanced experiments with two-dimensional material - graphene" opened up a wide field for its use in various fields of science and technology. The laureates were able to "demonstrate that monolayer carbon possesses exceptional properties that stem from the amazing world of quantum physics," the Nobel Committee said. Graphene is a two-dimensional allotropic modification of carbon, formed by a layer of carbon atoms one atom thick. Carbon atoms are in sp²-hybridization and are connected through σ- and π-bonds in a hexagonal two-dimensional crystal lattice.
The nanomaterial created by the Neutrino Energy Group contains alternating layers of graphene and doped silicon deposited on a metal foil, usually aluminum, to reduce the production cost of power sources. Graphene is a two-dimensional material capable of behaving like a three-dimensional material. It is he who is the indicator that converts thermal and electromagnetic radiation into electric current. Graphene films are surprisingly strong and resilient. Graphene has a very high thermal conductivity, which, in combination with its high electrical conductivity, makes it possible for an electric current to pass a million times higher than the maximum possible current in copper films. At elevated temperatures, according to the Fermi – Dirac distribution, some of the electrons pass into the conduction band, and "holes" remain in the valence band. This predetermines the rather high electrical conductivity of graphene at room temperatures. Conduction electrons and "holes" in graphene have zero effective mass, i.e. they cannot be stationary, but all the time they move with the "Fermi velocity", which in graphene is about 106 m / s, that is, it is already relativistic. This is responsible for the very high mobility of charge carriers in graphene, which is at least two orders of magnitude higher than their mobility in silicon, and the "ballistic" nature of their motion along the film. The mean free path of conduction electrons and holes in graphene at room temperatures exceeds 1 μm.
Exposure to various electromagnetic radiation and temperatures results in "graphene" waves that can be observed through a microscope at high magnification. When graphene touches the silicon layers, it releases electrons, which causes an electric current. The main property of graphene, which allows it to be used to generate electric current, is the increased vibrations of its atoms. Now in the scientific world it is considered proven that graphene cannot exist in a 2D plane, but only in a 3D plane. A group of scientists from the University of Arkansas conducted a study of graphene deposited on a copper plate. They observed changes in the position of atoms using a scanning tunneling microscope. A very significant discovery was made - a wave appeared in graphene, like waves on the surface of the sea, arising from a combination of small spontaneous movements and leading to the appearance of larger spontaneous movements. The thermal displacement (Brownian motion of atoms) of one atom, when summed up with the thermal displacements of other atoms, causes the appearance of surface waves with horizontal polarization, known in acoustics as Love waves. Due to the peculiarities of the crystal lattice of graphene, its atoms vibrate, as it were, in tandem, which distinguishes such motions from the spontaneous motions of molecules in liquids.
In an interview with Research Frontiers, Professor Chibado (University of Arkansas) stated: “This is the key to using the movement of 2D materials as a source of inexhaustible energy. Tandem vibrations cause ripples in the graphene sheet, which allows energy to be extracted from the surrounding space using the latest nanotechnology. "
Experiments carried out by the Neutrino Energy Group, the results of which were subsequently independently confirmed by ETH professor (Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule, Zürich) Vanessa Wood and her colleagues, showed that when materials are produced with sizes less than 10-20 nanometers, that is 5000 times thinner than a human hair , vibrations of the outer atomic layers on the surface of nanoparticles are large and play an important role in how this material behaves. These atomic vibrations, or "phonons", are responsible for how electrical charge and heat are transferred in materials. Considering that if the vibrations of graphene atoms, for example, are 100 times stronger than the vibrations of silicon atoms, then the superposition of the frequency of the external influence of electromagnetic radiation, including the effect of neutrinos, on the internal frequency of vibrations of graphene waves enhances such vibrations and leads to a resonance of atomic vibrations. Atomic vibrations in resonance make it possible to enhance the recoil of electrons upon contact with doped silicon.
It is necessary to dwell separately on the effect of neutrinos. It is necessary to dwell separately on the effect of neutrinos. In 2015, the Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded to Takaaki Kajita and Arthur B. McDonald, leaders of two experimental groups, Super-Kamiokande and SNO, that study the properties of neutrinos. Their work has convincingly proved that neutrinos, of which three types are known, are capable of oscillating - spontaneously transforming into each other on the fly. Neutrinos of a certain type can be born in reactions with elementary particles, and neutrinos of a certain mass can propagate in space. It is the proof of the presence of mass, and hence energy, that is the key argument for the theoretical possibility of converting neutrino energy into electric current.
Until recently, it was believed that neutrinos do not interact with matter, and cosmic neutrinos pierce the Earth through and through, without encountering any obstacles. But the latest publications of the COHERENT collaboration at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (USA) make it possible to complete the whole picture. Her works brought together 80 people from 19 institutes of four countries, including Russia (ITEP named after AI Alikhanov (NC "Kurchatov Institute"), MEPhI University and MIPT). The first experiments in 2017, the results of which were published in the journal Science, were aimed at studying the interaction of neutrinos with cesium and iodine nuclei. Since neutrinos are electrically neutral and very weakly interact with matter, observing this interaction required the development of detector technologies. Due to the fact that the nuclei of cesium and iodine are rather large and heavy, and neutrinos are electrically neutral and very weakly interact with matter, the recoil of nuclei from interaction with neutrinos was extremely weak and the results obtained did not allow drawing a final conclusion. Therefore, the researchers conducted experiments on the interaction of neutrinos with argon nuclei, which are lighter than the nuclei of cesium and iodine. It was found that low-energy neutrinos participate in weak interactions with argon nuclei. This process is called coherent elastic neutrino-nuclear scattering (CEvNS). A neutrino, like a tennis ball hitting a bowling ball, "hits" the large and heavy nucleus of an atom and transfers a tiny amount of energy to it. As a result, the core bounces almost imperceptibly, i.e. low-energy neutrinos participate in weak interactions with the nuclei of substances . Since graphene is carbon, the atomic mass of which is lighter than the atomic mass of argon, the effect of interaction of neutrinos with carbon nuclei will be more pronounced than with argon, and leads to an increase in the amplitude of vibrations of graphene atoms (graphene waves). Thus, it can be argued that the energy of neutrinos that fall on 1 cm2 of the earth's surface with an intensity of 60 billion particles per second can be converted into an electric current, and such a conversion should not depend on weather conditions or the season and be stable during the day. and at night.
Independent testing of Neutrinovoltaic technology at the Swiss Institute of Technology showed that test tests of the energy cell at a depth of 30-35 meters underground in a concrete bunker and in a Faraday cage completely excluded the effect of any radiation other than neutrinos on the DC generation process. Under these conditions, only neutrinos could interact with the tested nanomaterial. However, even under such conditions, the devices recorded the power of 2.5-3.0 W, obtained from a metal foil of size А-4 with a multilayer nanocoating applied to its one side, created by the Neutrino Energy Group.
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology is also working on the possibilities of obtaining direct current from the use of graphene and boron nitride, but its achievements and stated goals are much more modest and are at the initial stage. Although it should be noted that at this stage, MIT is still only studying graphene to obtain direct current. Scientists at this institute are currently investigating the use of graphene and boron nitride to convert terahertz (or T-rays) waves (electromagnetic waves with a frequency somewhere between microwaves and infrared light) into useful energy. Terahertz waves are widespread in our daily life, and if used, their concentrated energy can potentially serve as an alternative source of energy. MIT scientists have found that by combining graphene with boron nitride, the electrons in graphene must distort their motion in a general direction. Any incoming terahertz waves must "carry" the graphene electrons, like many tiny air traffic controllers, so that they can flow through the material in one direction, like direct current. The overall effect is what physicists call "oblique scattering," when clouds of electrons deflect their motion in one direction. A similar mechanism operates with the alternation of layers of graphene and doped silicon in the nanomaterial created by the Neutrino Energy Group. Hiroki Isobe, one of the leading researchers in the MIT Materials Research Laboratory, states, "If we can convert this energy into an energy source that we can use for our daily life, it will help solve the energy problems we are facing now."
One layer of graphene is capable of generating a very weak current, but the task was to create a technology that would work stably, and the DC sources created on its basis would have compact dimensions. Otherwise, the technology could not find commercial use. The problem was solved by manufacturing the generating nanomaterial in multilayer, thus increasing the output current and voltage many times. " To achieve the desired effect, graphene and doped silicon are deposited on a metal foil substrate in several layers, and when radiation passes through this combination of silicon and graphene layers, a harmonic resonance process starts, which is then recorded by an electrical conversion device. The coated side of the metal carrier is the positive pole and the uncoated side is the negative.
Several sheets of foil coated with an innovative nanomaterial, placed one above the other, like a bundle of writing paper, and therefore connected in series, make up an energy cell. By varying the connection of several power cells, a direct current source of the required overall dimensions and power characteristics is created. The DC power supply is the size of a diplomat and has an output power of 4.5 to 5.5 kW / h. Such compact dimensions make it possible to create autonomous current sources for power supply, including individual houses and electric vehicles.
Based on the use of Neutrinovoltaic technology, a test version of the fuel-free "free" energy generator Neutrino Power Cube with a net power of 5-6 kW was created, the licensed production of which will begin in Switzerland at the end of 2023 - beginning of 2024 after completion of test tests and carrying out all necessary certification activities.