Vacuum gaps with small tunnel currents at large electric field and its potential applications for energy storage, charge storage and power supplies.

Friday, May 27, 2011 - 4:00pm

Alfred Hubler, Department of Physics, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

We study tunnel currents and electric break down in vacuum gaps experimentally and theoretically. We find that electric field at break down in nano vacuum gaps is 3 order of magnitude larger than in macroscopic capacitors. Pointed electrodes increase the limiting field even further. Eigen states in the gap can help to reduce tunnel currents. We discuss applications of this technology for energy storage, charge storage, and power supplies.

Speaker Bio: Professor Alfred Hubler is the director of the Center for Complex Systems Research at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He received his Ph.D. in nuclear condensed matter Physics from the Technical University in Munich. He has published numerous papers on self-assembling electric networks and holds a US patent on low power quantum dot transistors.

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