Carbon nanotube-guided thermopower waves

Wonjoon Choi, Joel T. Abrahamson, Jennifer M. Strano, Michael S. Strano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

52 Citations (Scopus)


Thermopower waves are a new concept for the direct conversion of chemical to electrical energy. A nanowire with large axial thermal diffusivity can accelerate a self-propagating reaction wave using a fuel coated along its length. The reaction wave drives electrical carriers in a thermopower wave, creating a high-power pulse of as much as 7 kW/kg in experiments using carbon nanotubes. We review nanomaterials designed to overcome limitations of thermoelectricity and explore the emerging scientific and practical outlook for devices using thermopower waves.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)22-33
Number of pages12
JournalMaterials Today
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2010 Oct 1
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Mechanics of Materials

Cite this

Choi, W., Abrahamson, J. T., Strano, J. M., & Strano, M. S. (2010). Carbon nanotube-guided thermopower waves. Materials Today, 13(10), 22-33.