Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Materials that change thermal properties by applying electrical input?

  1. Mar 30, 2014 #1
    Do such materials exist? If they do, are there materials that go from very high to very low thermal conductivity depending on electrical input?
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 11, 2014 #2
    A heat switch can be made with superconductors at low temperature. A metallic superconductor below its critical temperature will not conduct heat very well because of electron pairing, while above the critical temperature (normal state) it will conduct heat very well. This metal is used as a heat transfer channel, while another superconductor in close proximity generates a magnetic field from a bias current. This magnetic field will force the heat channel to toggle between its normal and superconducting state. The ratio varies between on/off conductance varies but can be as high as 1000x.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook