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Title:
THE CONVERTER OF AMBIENT THERMAL ENERGY TO ELECTRIC POWER
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2018/036599
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
The claimed invention relates to converters of ambient thermal energy to electric power and it is intended for use as an independent source of electric power. The claimed converter of ambient thermal energy to electric power contains at least one basic multilayered solid-state different-sized structure, including B layer, contacting from one side with A1 layer through C layer, and from another side - with A2 layer through D layer. A1 layer, made from a conductive material, the thickness of which is greater than the value of the de Broglie wave-length, and the Fermi level is located in the conduction zone. B layer is made from a conductive material in the form of donor doped semiconductor or semimetal, the thickness of which has to be less than the value of the de Broglie wave-length, and the Fermi level is located in the conduction zone. C layer presents a nanofilm made from a conductive material or a dielectric, the thickness of which and material composition allow to organize the tunneling of electrons from A1 level to B level and back from B layer to Al layer, and to provide with possible significant domination of tunneling current over the current of overbarrier electron transfer.

Inventors:
GERMANOVICH, Oleg Panteleymonovich (Piskarevskiy pr-t, 31-49St.Petersburg, 7, 19506, RU)
SAYSKO, Aleksey Vladimirovich (Dachniy pr-t, 4/3-55St.Petersburg, 7, 19820, RU)
POTAPOV, Anatoliy Ivanovich (ul. Zvenigorodskaya, 4-9St.Petersburg, 9, 19111, RU)
GUTENEV, Vladimir Vladimirovich (Ozerkovskaya nab, 26-30Moscow, 4, 11518, RU)
SAYSKO, Vladimir Aleksandrovich (Dachniy pr-t, 4/3-55St.Petersburg, 7, 19820, RU)
Application Number:
EA2017/000003
Publication Date:
March 01, 2018
Filing Date:
April 26, 2017
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
OBSHCHESTVO S OGRANICHENNOY OTVETSTVENNOSTYU "CONSTANTA" (ul. Marshala Govorova, 29liter, St.Petersburg 7, 19809, RU)
International Classes:
H01L37/00
Domestic Patent References:
WO2004084272A22004-09-30
WO2007149185A22007-12-27
WO2001069657A22001-09-20
Foreign References:
US20090212278A12009-08-27
JP2014123593A2014-07-03
RU2546678C22015-04-10
US20070012682W2007-05-30
US7109408B22006-09-19
RU2233509C22004-07-27
US0107046W2001-03-06
RU2479886C12013-04-20
US3169200A1965-02-09
US20050184603A12005-08-25
Other References:
YU PETER; CARDONA MANUEL: "Fundamentals of Semiconductors, 3rd ed.", 2002, FIZMATLIT, pages: 458 - 459
E. BURSTEIN AND S. LUNDKVIST: "Tunneling effects in solid bodies", 1973, pages: 39
A.I. GUSEV, NANOMATERIALS, NANOSTRUCTURES, NANOTECHNOLOGIES, 2005, pages 379
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
KORCHEMNAYA, Liubov (Box 67, St. Petersburg, 7, 19401, RU)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS

1. The converter of ambient thermal energy to electric power, containing at least one basic multilayered solid-state different-sized structure, including:

Al layer, made from a conductive material, the thickness H41 of which is greater than the value of the de Broglie wave-length, that is

Hil » XdB,

where H41 is the thickness of Al layer, XdB is the value of the de Broglie wave- length, and the Fermi level is located in the conduction zone,

B layer, contacting from one side with Al layer through C layer, and from other side - with A2 layer through D layer, at that,

B layer is made from a conductive material from a donor doped semiconductor or semimetal, the thickness if of which has to be less than the value of the de Broglie wave-length XdB, notably

HB< XdB

where H8 is the thickness of the B layer, XdB is the value of the de Broglie wave-length, and the Fermi level is located in the conduction zone,

C layer presents a nanofilm made from a conductive material or a dielectric, the thickness ΐί" of which and material composition allow to organize the tunneling of electrons from Al level to B level and back from B layer to Al layer, and to provide with possible significant domination of tunneling current over the current of overbarrier electron transfer, when the current of overbarrier electron transfer is small to negligible in comparison with the tunneling current, notably:

rC rC

2 t J oi >

where i is a tunneling current through C layer, presenting the two-sided potential barrier, Ioch is the current of the overbarrier electron transfer between Al and B layers,

A2 layer is made from a conductive material, the thickness H42 of which is greater than the value of the de Broglie wave-length, notably:

HA2» dBi

where H42 is the thickness of the A2 layer, dB is the value of the de Broglie wave-length,

D layer presents a nanofilm from a conductive material or a dielectric, the thickness if of which and material composition allow to organize the overbarrier electron transfer fromA2 layer to B layer and back from B layer to A2 layer, and to provide with possibille significant domination of the current of the overbarrier electron transfer over the tunneling current, when the tunneling current is small to negligible in comparison with the current of the overbarrier electron transfer, notably:

I l oDb » I l i° '

where i is the tunneling current through D layer, presenting the two-sided potential barrier*

Igb is the current of the overbarrier electron transfer betweenA2 and B layers.

2. The converter of claim 1, wherein by the production of the basic solid-state different-sized structure by the method of the molecular-beam epitaxy, the materials of all contacting layers A1,C, B,D, A2 have similar in value lattice constants.

Description:
THE CONVERTER OF AMBIENT THERMAL ENERGY TO

ELECTRIC POWER The present invention relates to converters of ambient thermal energy to electric power and it is intended for use as an independent source of electric power in devices and apparatuses of various appointment, for example, in mobile means of communication, portable computers, tablets and so on.

The converter of ambient thermal energy to electric power presents multilayered structure made from n series-connected, contacting between each other (directly or through a nanolayer) layers of conductive materials that have different work functions. Therewith, in the area of each contact (junction) of layers of dissimilar conductive materials, a potential barrier with a junction contact potential φ appears, and the electric field is created in a contact area by uncompensated ions of a lattice.

If all contacting layers of the multilayered structure are in the same ambient conditions, than the total of junction contact potentials in a close circuit equals to zero.

To have an electric current flowing through such multilayer structure, it is enough to apply any external influence, changing the junction contact potential, at least, in one of a junction of the multilayered structure.

Actually, if by applying an external influence, at least, to one of junctions of the multilayered structure, an alteration of its junction contact potential happens, while in other junctions in this multilayered structure, not subjected to external influence, the junction contact potential does not change, than the total of junction contact potentials of all junctions of the multilayered structure doesn't equal to zero any more, and by closing a circuit an electric current will flow. At the moment included in the state of art converters of ambient thermal energy to electric power can be divided in two groups: thermoelectric converters and thermionic converters.

Thermo-electric converters use the heat treatment as the external influence on at least one of junctions in the multilayered structure. By such influence on junction, there is heating of both dissimilar conductive contacting between each other materials that form a junction, and, as a result, the junction contact potential in a heated junction alters, and this junction contact potential, as mentioned above, is created only with help of ions of the lattice of contacting layers. In other junctions of this multilayered structure, which were not exposed to the heating, the junction contact potential remains unchanged. As a result of this, the total of junction contact potentials of all layers of the multilayered structure doesn't equal to zero, and electric current begins to flow in a close circuit of the multilayered structure.

The effect of alteration of junction contact potential in one of the junctions of the multilayered structure changing its temperature, while keeping the temperature of other junctions unchanged, resulting in the thermoemf at the ends of the multilayered structure, is called the Seebeck effect.

The reference to the thermo-electric converters of thermal power and their possible use in technics is in the Russian patent RU 2 546 678, priority date 27.08.2009, page 5, paragraph 5 from below. It is known that earlier the attempts to use thermo-electric generators for the electric supply of electronic devices were made, for example, it was described in the international publication WO/2007/149185, date of publication: 27.12.2007, to the international application PCT/US2007/012682.

Thermo-electric converters of thermal energy didn't become widely used as energy sources of the various application apparatuses as they need an external independent source of thermal energy for their operation and the use of thermo-electric converters doesn't allow obtaining high capacity of the electric power.

Another type of thermal energy converters is thermionic thermal energy converters.

Operating principle of thermionic converter of thermal energy to electric power is based on the formation, due to external influence in one of junction contacting layers of the multilayered structure, that is called an emitter, of additional quantity of electrons with increased energy which form an additional one-directional flow of electrons from an emitter to a collector that presents the second connecting layer in the junction. As a result, the collector accumulates an additional electron space charge that provides the increase of the junction contact potential between the emitter and the collector. The accumulation of an additional electron space charge takes place until there is an equilibrium state in the junction. If we close an external electric circuit in the multilayer structure, then the drainage of electrons accumulated in the collector to the external electric circuit begins, the equilibrium state between the emitter and the collector is disrupted, and electric circuit begins to flow in external electric circuit.

To increase the junction contact potential and, accordingly, EMF at the ends of the multilayer structure, it is possible to create an additional junction contact potential in each junction of the multilayered structure, as it was described above, that allows to increase the power of an electric energy source.

According to the manner of organization of an external influence on the multilayered structure in thermionic converters of thermal energy for obtaining an additional one-directional transfer of electrons with increased energy from the emitter to the collector, thermionic and field emission thermionic converters of thermal energy can be distinguished. In thermionic converters of thermal energy to electric power for obtaining an additional quantity of electrons with increased energy in the emitter, an external thermal energy is used that creates the temperature gradient between the emitter and the collector.

By thermal emission, for obtaining the junction contact potential at the ends of the multilayered structure in thermionic converters, only one layer of the junction is heated - the emitter, while as the second layer of the junction - the collector - has to remain cold. The maintenance of the temperature gradient between the emitter and the collector in thermionic converters of thermal energy to electric power is a technically challenging task. Due to the thermal conductivity of contacting layers in the junction, there is a tendency to the temperature equalization of the emitter and the collector that leads to decrease of the junction contact potential in the junction and, accordingly, to decrease of thermoemf at the ends of the multilayered structure. It is a significant flaw of thermionic converters.

The examples of thermionic converters of thermal energy with the use of the thermionic emission are thermionic converters described, for example, in the patent US 7,109,408, date of publication: 19.09.2006, in the patent U 2 233 509, priority date: 06.03.2000, and in the international publication WO 01/6957, date of publication: 20.09.2001 to the international application PCT USOl/07046.

A key distinction of thermionic converters from thermo-electric converters is that in order to obtain the junction contact potential at the ends of the multilayered structure in thermo-electric converters it is necessary to have both contacting layers simultaneously heated at least in one of the junctions, while the temperature of other layers remains unchanged, and in order to create an additional junction contact potential in each junction of the multilayer structure in thermionic converters, it is necessary to heat only one of the layers of the junction - the emitter, while the second layer of the junction - the collector - remains cold.

In field emission thermionic converters of thermal energy to electric power the obtaining of additional quantity of electrons for the organization of their preferential transfer from the emitter to the collector is made with help of creation of high intensity of an electric field near the surface of the emitter.

As an example of thermionic converters of thermal energy with the use of field electron emission, the patent RU 2 479 886 can serve, priority date 02.12.2011, that belongs to FSBI (the Federal State Budgetary Institution) "National Research Center "Kurchatov Institute."

According to the claimer's opinion, the most prospective thermionic converters of thermal energy are converters with the use of field electron emission.

Therefore, it becomes clear from the described above that the operating principle of the thermionic converter of thermal energy differs from the operating principle of the thermo-electric converter of thermal energy.

The main distinction of the thermionic converter of thermal energy from the thermo-electric converter of thermal energy is that the amount of the junction contact potential in the junction area of the neighbouring layers of the multilayered structure in thermo-electric converters is defined by the effect of the electron diffusion between contacting layers of different conductive materials. By the electron diffusion, the amount of the junction contact potential in the junction area is created by stationary ions of the lattice of contacting materials and its alteration in a wide range is quite difficult. It doesn't allow creating high values of thermoemf that, in its turn, limits the area of their application as powerful energy sources.

In thermionic converters of thermal energy by creation of the junction contact potential in the junction area, there is also the diffusion effect between contacting layers of different conductive materials. However, along with that in thermionic converters the alteration of the junction contact potential occurs also due to the organization of an additional preferential transfer of electrons from the emitter to the collector and the formation of an additional junction contact potential between contacting different conductive materials by virtue of collection of excess electrons in the collector area. As a result, it provides the possibility of creating much higher value of thermpemf in comparison with thermo-electric converters of thermal energy and adjusting the value of thermoemf and currents flowing in circuit over wide range. All this makes the category of thermionic converters of thermal energy much more prospective in comparison with thermo-electric converters of thermal energy for the development of powerful sources of electric energy.

As a prototype the patent US 3,169,200 (Huffman) "Thermotunnel converter of thermal energy to electric energy" published in February 09, 1965 is chosen.

The patent describes the construction of a thermionic converter of thermal energy to electric energy that presents a multilayered solid-state structure, whose neighboring conductive layers forming a junction, are divided with oxide thermal insulating nanofilms with max thickness of 4 nm. The transfer of electrons from one layer of the junction to another is carried out due to the effect of electron tunneling through oxide thermal insulating nanofilms.

To organize a one-directional preferential transfer of electrons between layers of junctions in this solid-state multilayered structure, the temperature gradient between neighboring layers of junction is arranged. To develop the temperature gradient, it is necessary to heat one of the junction layers (emitter) by means of external thermal influence on it.

The temperature gradient in the prototype is developed along the whole multilayer structure that is formed from big number of junctions (Fig.4 of the mentioned patent), the temperature difference at the ends of this multilayered structure reaches several hundred Kelvin degrees. Hot layer of junction in the prototype presents the emitter relative to the colder second layer of junction (collector) contacting with the emitter through an oxide thermal insulating nanofilm.

As electrons that are in hot layer of the junction (emitter) will have higher average energy than electrons that are in cold layer of the junction (collector), then from hot emitter through an oxide thermal insulating nanofilm, a greater number of electrons will tunnel to the collector than from a cold collector to the hot emitter, notably, mainly one-directional transfer of electrons from the emitter to the collector will be organized.

Therefore, in the prototype, the difference in the volume of electron flow during their tunneling from the emitter to the collector and back, from the collector to the emitter, is due to the temperature difference between the emitter and the collector that is provided by external thermal influence.

However, due to the thermal conductivity of contacting materials in the junction, temperatures of the collector and the emitter have tendency to equalization that leads to decrease of the temperature gradient in the junction and, consequently, leads to decrease of mainly one-directional transfer of electrons from the emitter to the collector.

Oxide thermal insulating nanofllms located between the emitter and the collector, allow maintaining the temperature fall (gradient) between contacting layers of the junction.

Therefore, oxide thermal insulating nanofllms help organize mainly one-directional transfer of electrons from the emitter to the collector as they decrease the thermal conductivity between the emitter and the collector in the junction.

Summing up the above, we would like to emphasize that in the Huffman prototype device the organization of mainly one-directional transfer of electrons from the emitter to the collector is provided by virtue of the temperature gradient developed between layers of the junction due to the external thermal influence on one of the junction layers (the emitter).

Flaws of the prototype are that to obtain EMF values acceptable in power sources, it is necessary to maintain the temperature gradient at the ends of a solid-state multilayered structure that equals to several hundred Kelvin degrees. Huffman author mentions in the text of the patent that his device works effectively from the point of view of obtaining acceptable EMF values in the temperature range of 700 Kelvin degrees and above. To obtain essential EMF values in the prototype device, the multilayered structure has to contain 10 6 layers due to insufficient thermal insulating characteristics of oxide nanofllms dividing the emitter and the collector. High working temperatures of the prototype device and large number of layers in the multilayered structure create a lot of technological difficulties while its realization.

The further development of the basic prototype patent is given in the later patent application US 2005/0184603 Al published on August 25, 2005, in which it was tried to eliminate the abovementioned flaws of the US 3,169,200 (Huffman) patent with help of constructive means, namely, to decrease constructively the thermal conductivity between the emitter and the collector that allows to decrease the number of layers in the multilayered structure.

The authors of the claimed invention decided to use completely different approach.

The authors of the present invention came to the conclusion that it is possible to make mainly one-directional transfer of electrons between contacting layers of dissimilar conductive materials in the multilayered structure without use of any external influence on the multilayered structure itself, or on both contacting between each other layers in this structure, or on one of contacting layers. For that purpose, the authors decided to consider peculiarities of the effect of the electron transfer in the multilayered structure consisting of two contacting between each other layers of dissimilar conductive materials divided with nanofilm.

It is included in the state of the art that in the multilayer structure a nanofilm can form two-sided potential barrier (the book "Fundamentals of Semiconductors" by Yu Peter, Cardona Manuel, edited by B.P. Zakharcheni, translated from English by LI Reshina. - 3 rd edition - Moscow, FIZMATLIT, 2002, p. 458-459).

The Fig. 1A contains the example of an included in the state of the art multilayered structure consisting of two dissimilar conductive materials A and B divided with a nanofilm - C layer, of H b thickness thus, A layer is the emitter and B layer is the collector.

The two-sided potential barrier will be called the region of space in which potential electron energy has its local maximum (see Fig. IB).

We shall explain what phenomena occur when electron falls on the two-sided potential barrier (nanofilm - C layer) in the multilayered structure, shown on Fig. 1 A.

Fig. IB shows the distribution of potential energy in the area of the two-sided potential barrier formed with a nanofilm (C layer) in the multilayered structure shown on Fig. 1 A.

Fig. IB shows the distribution of potential energy in the area of the two-sided potential barrier formed with a nanofilm (C layer) placed between layers of dissimilar conductive materials A and B of the multilayered structure.

Fig. IB shows a physical H b thickness of nanofilm plotted along the x coordinate axis (thickness of C layer), and the energy value E is plotted along the ordinate axis. Besides, the figure shows the height of the two-sided potential barrier - U 0 , s L A and e B - full with electron energy falling on the two-sided potential barrier from A layer side and B layer side, respectively, equaling to the sum of potential energy and a part of the electron kinetic energy separated by projection of electron quasi-momentum on the direction perpendicular (normal) to the surface of the potential barrier.

The transfer of electrons from A layer to B layer and back, from B layer to A layer, in the multilayered structure shown on the Fig. 1A is always possible if the electron energy s or £_ , falling on the two-sided potential barrier is greater than the height of the barrier, namely, ε , ε > Uo- Such type of the electron transfer is called over barrier.

Another type of electron transfer between A and B layers and back, from B layer to A layer, is so called tunneling transfer that defines the tunneling probability of an electron through the potential barrier (C layer) from A layer to B layer and back, from B layer to A layer, under the condition that the electron energy ε or ε^ , falling on two-sided potential barrier, is less than the height of the potential barrier, notably, ε£, ε < U 0 .

The value characterizing the tunneling probability of electron through the potential barrier is the transparency of the potential barrier D s) .

It is known from the quantum mechanics that the tunneling probability of electrons through the potential barrier (transparency Ό{ε) ) depends not only on ¾ thickness and material properties the barrier is made from but also on the energy ε£ and ε _ , that are defined by the electron energy falling on the twO-sided potential barrier and depends on material properties of A and B layers located on both sides of the potential barrier (the C layer). (The book "Tunneling effects in solid bodies" edited by E. Burstein and S. Lundkvist, Moscow, Mir, 1973, p. 39, the second paragraph from below).

In view of this circumstance, the authors of the present invention arrive at the idea that it is possible to reach the desired result, namely, mainly one- directional transfer of electrons, varying material properties and geometrical dimensions of contacting between each other A and B layers of the multilayered structure, that together will allow to obtain significant dissimilarity in energy value ε of A layer and av of B layer. It will allow obtaining the dissimilarity of transparencies of the potential barrier for electrons falling on it both from A and B layers sides. If the transparency of the potential barrier for electrons falling from A layer side Ό Α (ε) is higher than the transparency of electrons falling on the potential barrier from B layer side Ό Β (ε) , notably, if Ό Α (ε) > Ό Β (ε) , then mainly one-directional transfer of electrons from A layer to B layer without any external influence occurs.

Therefore, it is possible to obtain mainly one-directional transfer of electrons between layers of the multilayer structure divided by the two-sided potential barrier only by virtue of use of the peculiarities of the effect of the tunneling transfer of electrons through the two-sided potential barrier without resorting to any external influence on the multilayered structure. The organization of mainly one-directional transfer of electrons from A layer to a contacting with it B layer by closing an external electric circuit in such multilayered structure will lead to the flowing of electric current in it. So it is possible to develop an independent power source converting ambient thermal energy to electric power.

The technical task solved by the claimed invention consists of creation of an independent solid-body converter of ambient thermal energy to electric power by organization of mainly one-directional transfer of electrons between layers of the multilayered structure divided by two-sided potential barrier, by virtue of use of the peculiarities of the effect of the tunneling transfer of electrons through two-sided potential barrier without resorting to any external influence on the multilayered structure.

Therefore, the authors of the present invention offer a new type of a converter of thermal energy to electric power in which in a multilayered solid- body structure the physical processes proceed that are similar to the physical processes that proceed in thermionic converters, namely, mainly one- directional transfer of electrons from the emitter to the collector is organized. At that, the fundamental distinction of the claimed invention is that the organization of mainly one-directional transfer of electrons between layers of the multilayered structure is made not by virtue of the heating of the emitter as it is made in classic thermionic converters but by virtue of usage of distinctions of the tunnel transfer of electrons between contacting layers divided by two-sided potential barrier that take place when contacting layers are different-sized.

The task is solved as follows: the claimed multilayered solid-state structure consists of three different-sized contacting layers of conductive materials divided between each other by two nanofilms each of which represents the two-sided potential barrier.

The first two-sided potential barrier between the first and the second different-sized contacting layers in the multilayered structure is made so that it provides the electron tunneling between the first and the second different- sized contacting layers by almost the complete absence of overbarrier electron transfer between these layers. It allows organizing mainly one-directional transfer of electrons from the first contacting barrier (emitter) to the second contacting layer (collector) of the multilayered structure.

The second two-sided potential barrier between the second and the third different-sized contacting layers in the multilayered structure is made so that it provides the overbarrier electron transfer between the second and the third different-sized contacting layers almost in the complete absence of the tunnel transfer of electrons between these layers. It allows organizing the equality of counter flows of electrons between the second and the third different-sized contacting layers to exclude the appearance of a counter mainly one- directional transfer of electrons from the third layer to the second layer of the multilayered structure and to provide the equality of potentials between the second and the third contacting layers. It is made to provide mainly one- directional transfer of electrons from the layer one to the layer three of the multilayered structure and, as a result, to organize the one-directional transfer of electrons along the whole multilayered structure without compensating counter flows of electrons.

The claimed invention is explained with the following drawings:

On the Fig. 1 A there is an example of included in the state of the art the multilayered structure consisting of two layers of different-type conductive materials A and B, divided with a nanofilm - C layer of H b thickness, at that, A layer presents the emitter and B layer presents the collector.

Fig. IB shows the distribution of potential energy in the area of two- sided potential barrier formed by a nanofilm - C layer placed between the layers of dissimilar conductive materials A and B of the multilayered structure shown on the Fig.1 A.

Fig. 2A shows the claimed basic multilayer solid-state different-sized structure of the converter of ambient thermal energy to electric power.

Fig. 2B shows the distribution of potential energy in the area of two- sided potential barriers of the claimed basic multilayer solid-state different- sized structure, shown on the Fig. 2A.

Fig. 3 A shows a dependency diagram of the F(s) function of the full energy of electrons ε defining the transparency window for tunneling electrons.

Fig. 3B shows an example of a position of the transparency window for tunneling electrons in the first energy subzone under B layer of the claimed basic multilayered solid-state different-sized structure.

Fig. 4A shows the claimed converter of ambient thermal energy to electric power consisting of n series-connected basic multilayered solid-state different-sized structures. Fig. 4B shows a version of the claimed converter of ambient thermal energy to electric power for a case when material properties of Al and A2 layers are identical and their geometrical dimensions (thicknesses H 41 , H 42 ) are close to each other.

Fig. 4C shows the distribution of potential energy in the area of two- sided potential barriers of the claimed converter of ambient thermal energy to electric power, shown on the Fig. 4B.

Fig. 5 shows a general diagram of developing layers of the claimed basic multilayered solid-state different-sized structure of the converter of ambient thermal energy to electric power with help of molecular-beam epitaxy technology.

Fig. 2A shows the basic multilayered solid-state different-sized structure of the converter of ambient thermal energy to electric power, containing Al layer - position 1, B layer - position 2, A2 layer - position 3, divided between each other by nanofilms C - position 4 and D - position 5. B layer contacts from one side with Al layer through C layer, and with A2 layer through D layer from other side.

At the ends of the basic multilayered structure of the converter of ambient thermal energy to electric power, electric contacts 6 are made for the connection of the multilayered structure to an external electric circuit 7.

Al layer (Position 1) is made from a conductive material, for example, donor superalloy semiconductors (gallium arsenide GaAs, indium arsenide InAs, indium antimonide InSb), the Fermi level of which is in a conduction zone.

The thickness H 41 of Al layer (Pos. 1) has to significantly exceed the value of de Broglie wave-length λ^, notably, H 41 » (3D structure), for example, the thickness of Al layer can be equal to H A1 = 50 nm. The typical thickness of Al layer (pos. 1) is 50-100 nm. B layer (pos. 2) can be made from conductive material in the form of donor doped semiconductor (for example, gallium arsenide GaAs, indium arsenide InAs, indium antimonide InSb) or semimetal (for example, bismuth Bi), the Fermi level of which is in the conduction zone.

The thickness if of B layer (pos. 2) has to be less than the value of de Broglie wave-length X dB , notably, if < X dB , (2D structure). The typical thickness if of B layer (pos. 2) has the value of about 4-12 nm. For example, the thickness of B layer can be equal to 8 nm.

Therefore, the size difference of Al layer (pos. 1) and B layer (pos. 2), that, as mentioned above, is defined by the correlation of the value of these layers thickness with the value of de Broglie wave-length X dBi is crucially important for the organization of mainly one-directional tunnel transfer of electrons from Al layer (pos. 1) - the emitter to B layer (pos. 2) - the collector in the claimed device.

C layer (pos. 4) presents a nanofilm made from a conductive material or adielectric, for example, gallium arsenide aluminate Al x Ga x _ x As or quaternary solid solution where x and j> are the mixing ratio of component elements of solid solution totaling to unity or semimetals, for example, bismuth Bi.

The typical thickness if of C layer (pos. 4) has the value of about 1-6 nm, a preferential thickness of C layer (pos. 4) is if = 3 nm.

C layer (pos. 4), shown on the Fig. 2B, presents two-sided potential barrier with the height of Uo.

The thickness if of C layer (pos. 4) and the material composition allow to organize the tunneling of electrons from Al layer (pos. 1) - the emitter - to layer B (pos.2) - the collector and back, from B layer (pos. 2) to Al layer (pos.l), and to provide with possible significant domination of tunneling current over the current of overbarrier electron transfer when the current of overbarrier electron transfer is small to negligible in comparison with the tunneling current, notably:

rC rC

2 t X ob ->

where i is a tunneling current through C layer (pos. 4), presenting two-sided potential barrier,

I o c h is the current of the overbarrier transfer of electrons between Al (pos. 1) and B (pos. 2) layers.

The realization of this requirement is achieved by choosing a height of two-sided potential barrier U 0 and its thickness if (Fig. 2B and Fig. 2A). At that, required height of two-sided potential barrier U 0 is provided by selection of material composition of C layer (pos. 4), for example, selection of a percentage ration of component elements in gallium arsenide aluminate in other words, the value of x, or in quaternary solid solution

Ga y lni- j ASjSbi. * , inotably, by selection x and y values.

A2 layer (pos. 3) is made from a conductive material, for example, from donor superalloy semiconductors (gallium arsenide GaAs, indium arsenide

InAs, indium antimonide InSb).

The thickness ff 42 of the A2 layer (pos. 3) has to exceed significantly the value of de Broglie wave-length dB , in other words H 42 » X dB (3D structure), for example, the thickness of the A2 layer can be equal to H 42 = 50 ran. The typical thickness of the A2 layer (pos. 3) is 50-100 ran.

In a preferred version of the claimed invention the thickness of the Al layer can be equal to the thickness of the A2 layer, for example, ff 41 = H A2 = 50 ran.

D layer (pos. 5) presents a nanofilm made from conductive material or dielectric, for example, made from gallium arsenide aluminate Al x Ga x _ x As or quaternary solid solution where x d y are the mixing ratio of component elements of solid solution, totaling to unity. The thickness H° of D layer (pos. 5) has the value of about 3-15 nm, a preferential thickness of D layer (pos. 5) is H° = 6 nm.

D layer (pos. 5) presents two-sided potential barrier with height of Ui, shown on the Fig. 2B.

The thickness H° ofD layer (pos. 5) and material composition allow to organize an overbarrier transfer of electrons from A2 layer (pos. 3) to the Blayer (pos. 2) and back, from B layer (pos. 2) to A2 layer (pos. 3) and to provide with possible significant domination of the current of overbarrier transfer of electrons over the tunneling current when small to negligible in comparison with the tunneling current, notably, under fulfilling the following conditions:

I 1 o D b » ^ I L t D '

where I t D is the tunneling current through D layer (pos. 5), presenting two- sided potential barrier,

is the current of overbarrier transfer of electrons between A2 (pos. 1) and B (pos. 2) layers.

The realization of this requirement is achieved by choosing a height of two-sided potential barrier U] and its thickness H° (Fig. 2B and Fig. 2A). At that, required height of two-sided potential barrier U] is provided by selection of material composition of D layer (pos. 4), for example, selection of a percentage ration of component elements in gallium arsenide aluminate

ASj c Sb].*,, notably, by selection of x andy values.

In the claimed basic multilayered structure, B layer (pos.2) is enclosed from two sides with nanofilms - C (pos.4) and D (pos. 5) layers, presenting two-sided potential barriers, so that B layer presents a potential well.

So, in the claimed basic multilayered structure by virtue of choosing material properties of the Al, C, B, D, A2 and their geometrical dimensions (H 41 , H 2 , if, tf, H° ) is organized a tunneling transfer of electrons between Al layer (pos. l) and B layer (pos.2), and overbarrier transfer of electrons between B (pos.2) and A2 (pos.3) layer.

A significant particularity of the effect of electron tunneling between contacting between each other Al (pos. 1) and B (pos.2) layers, presenting two-sided potential barrier divided with a nanofilm - C layer (pos. 4) is that the tunneling of electrons can happen only in limited interval of electron energies, namely, in so called transparency window.

Transparency window is a range of electrons energies normally symmetrical about the energy corresponding to the Fermi energy level (Fig.3A).

Electron energy range ε in the transparency window is limited by energy threshold values, for which out of the transparency window the quantity of electrons, tunneling through the potential barrier, is small to negligible:

where ε - electron total energy;

ε Ρ - energy of Fermi level;

S F ~ ~ l° wer threshold value of the transparency window;

ε Ρ + ε* - higher threshold value of the transparency window.

Arrangement of the total energy ε of electrons, falling on two-sided potential barrier, in the transparency window is necessary but not sufficient condition of electron tunneling through two-sided potential barrier. In order that electrons, the total energy ε of which is located in the transparency window, can tunnel through two-sided potential barrier, it is required to fulfill an additional condition, namely: the value of transparency of the potential barrier D (ε) has to be sufficient to provide the tunneling of electrons. The transparency of two-sided potential barrier Ό(ε) depends on the electron energy ε ± , that equals to the total of potential energy and a part of kinetic electron energy, defined by a projection of the electron quasi-momentum on a direction, perpendicular (normal) to a surface of the potential barrier. Therefore, the quantity of electrons tunneling through two-sided potential barrier, depends not only on their total energy ε , value of which shall be located in a range of values defined by the transparency window, but also on the energy ε ± , that significantly depends on a mode of electron motion in layers contiguous to the two-sided potential barrier and defines the value of transparency of the potential barrier as to electrons falling on two-sided potential barrier from Al- D Al ( ) layer side, and the value of transparency

D B (s) falling on two-sided potential barrier from B layer side.

We provide evidences that the energy s of electrons falling on two- sided potential barrier - C layer (pos. 4) from Al (pos. 1) layer side, and the value of energy s L B of electrons falling on two-sided potential barrier - C layer (pos. 4) from B layer side (pos.2), are different, and, consequently, Ό Α1 (ε) and Ό Β (ε) transparencies of two-sided potential barrier - C layer (pos. 4), are also different for electrons falling from Al layer side and from B layer side, accordingly.

Al layer (pos.l) is a three dimensional conductive material 3D, its thickness H 41 significantly exceeds the value of the de Broglie wave-length X dB , notably, 4 ' » X dB .

The motion of electrons in Al layer (pos.l) is subject to the laws of the classical mechanics.

The kinetic energy of electrons in A 1 layer (pos.l) is equally distributed between directions on all three coordinate axes, electrons move in Al layer chaotically in all directions. Electrons fall on two-sided potential barrier C layer (pos. 4) at different angles so that ε = ε cos 2 y ;

where ε£ is the total energy of an electron, falling on the two-sided potential barrier C layer (pos. 4) from Al (pos. 1) layer side, that equals to the total of potential energy and a part of kinetic energy of an electron, defined by a projection of an electron quasi-momentum on a direction, perpendicular (normal) to a surface of two-sided potential barrier;

ε is the total energy of an electron (amount of potential and kinetic energy of an electron);

γ is an angle of electron falling on two-sided potential barrier C layer (pos.4).

As the main part of electrons incoming from Al layer side to C layer two-sided potential barrier, fall on it at low angles γ, then 1 electron energy of most of electrons tunneling from Al layer to B layer, is close to the total energy of electrons. As far as the total energy of electrons ε is located in the transparency window, most of electrons incoming to two-sided potential barrier - C layer (pos.4) from Al layer side, 1 electron energy is also in the transparenc window

two sides with two-sided potential barriers, formed from one side by C layer (pos. 4) and from another side by D layer (pos. D). As the thickness of B layer (pos. 2) is // 5 < XciB, then B layer (Pos.2) is 2D quantum potential well.

Electron motion in a quantum potential well (two dimensional (2D) layer B (pos.2)) is subject to the laws of quantum mechanics and significantly differs from the way of electron motion in three dimensional (3D) Al layer (pos.l).

Set of electrons in B layer (pos.2) falls into energy subzones (Fig.3 "B"). In B layer (pos.2), all electrons of one energy subzone fall in two-sided potential barrier C layer (pos. 4) with the same kinetic energy, defined by the energy of size quantization level.

Taking into account this particularity of electrons motion in B layer (pos.2), it is required by calculating the multilayered different-sized structure by virtue of material selection of B layer (pos. 2) and its thickness H 8 to provide the fulfillment of the following conditions:

- transparency window in a preferable variant of realization of the invention has to be located in the first energy subzone (Fig. 3B), which is characterized by the smallest energy level of the size quantization level.; - energy of electrons, falling on two-sided potential barrier C layer (pos.

4) from the side of B layer (pos. 2), defined by the total of potential energy and a part of kinetic energy, that equals to the energy of the size quantization level of electrons of the first energy subzone, in a preferable variant of realization of the invention has to satisfy the inequality:

ε ± ≤ s F - e l0W .

Observance of these conditions provides the fulfillment of the inequality

ε χ ± .

Earlier in the materials of the present claim it was shown that the transparency of two-sided potential barrier depends on the electron energy ε ± , falling on it, and, the higher energy^ of electrons, falling on a barrier, the more transparent is two-sided potential barrier. As it was shown above, the energy ε^ of electrons, falling on two-sided potential barrier (C layer (pos.

4)) from Al (pos. l) layer side, is higher than the energy ε of electrons, falling on two-sided potential barrier (C layer (pos.4)) from B (pos.2) layer side. So, the transparency of two-sided potential barrier C (pos.4) layer for electrons, falling on it from Al layer side is higher than the transparency of this barrier for electrons, falling on it from B (pos.2) layer side. It provides the creation of additional mainly one-directional transfer of electrons from Al (pos.l) layer to B (pos.2) layer, without any external influence on the multilayered solid-state different-sized structure.

The claimed converter of ambient thermal energy to electric power operates as follows.

In the basic multilayered solid-state different-sized structure, two-sided potential barrier - C layer (pos.4) is organized so that the tunnel transfer of electrons between Al (pos.l) and B (pos.2) layers is determinant, and the overbarrier transfer is small to negligible. So, inasmuch as the transparency of two-sided potential barrier C (pos.4) layer for electrons falling on it from Al layer side, is higher than the transparency of this barrier for electrons falling on it from B (pos.2) layer side, mainly one-directional tunnel transfer of electrons from A 1 (pos.l) layer to B (pos.2) layer will be observed. As a result of the tunnel transfer in B (pos.2) layer, electrons will be collected, and it will result in an additional deceleration field for electrons, tunneling from Al (pos.l) layer to B (pos.2) layer and between Al layer (pos.l) and B layer (pos.2). Additional potential difference appears.

With an open external electric circuit 7, the appearance of mentioned additional deceleration field will lead to the decrease of electron flow, tunneling from Al (pos.l) layer to B layer (pos.2), as a result of that, in the basic multilayered solid-state different-sized structure an equilibrium mode and the potential difference between Al (pos.l) and B (pos.2) layers will be settled, at which the flows of tunneling electrons from Al layer (pos.l) to B layer (pos.2) and back, from B layer (pos. 2) to Al layer (pos.l), will be equal.

B (pos.2) and A2 (pos. 3) layers as Al (pos.l) and B (pos.2) layers are different-sized. It can lead to the situation where from A2 layer (pos. 3) to B layer mainly one-directional tunneling transfer of electrons can appear. It can lead to the appearance of the counter potential difference that is undesirable for an effective operation of the claimed device. For this reason, two-sided potential barrier - D layer (pos. 5) that divides B (pos. 2) and A2 (pos.3) layers is organized so that the transfer of electrons between B (pos. 2) and A2 (pos.3) layers is defined by overbarrier transfer, and the tunneling transfer of electrons through D barrier (pos. 5) is small to negligible in comparison with the overbarrier. For this reason, the peculiarities of the effect of the tunneling transfer of electrons between contacting different-sized B (pos. 2) and A2 (pos.3) layers don't come out, mainly one-directional transfer of electrons from A2 (pos.3) to B (pos.2) layer doesn't take place, and there is no potential difference between B (pos. 2) and A2 (pos.3) layers.

As a result, between Al (pos.l) and A2 (pos.3), in state of equilibrium by an open external electric circuit 7 a potential difference will be settled, which value will be defined by a Fermi level shift between Al (pos. 1) and B (pos.2) layers.

By closing an external electric circuit 7, a drain of charges located in B

(pos. 2) layer through an external electric circuit 7 takes place, accompanied by the decrease of potential difference between Al (pos.l) and B (pos.2) layers. It leads to reduction of deceleration field for electrons tunneling from Al (pos. 1) and B (pos.2) layers. As a result, a reconstruction of mainly one- directional transfer (tunneling) of electrons from Al (pos.l) layer to B (pos.2) layer occur. As electrons tunnel from Al (pos.l) layer to B (pos.2) layer in a reduced deceleration field, their energy decreases and the "electron gas" (the total number of electrons) cools down. The losses of electron energy that tunneled from Al (pos. l) layer to B (pos.2) layer in reduced deceleration field, are refilled by collisional processes with atoms of the lattice of materials of the multilayered structure that will cause the cooling of the multilayered structure in comparison with the ambient medium. The cooling of the multilayered structure in comparison with the ambient medium will lead, in accordance with the second law of thermodynamics, to the transmission of thermal energy from the ambient medium to the multilayered structure.

Therefore, the ambient thermal energy is transformed to the claimed multilayered solid-state different-sized structure to electric power without any external influence.

To increase the potential difference, which is produced at the ends of the claimed multilayered solid-state different-sized structure, it is enough to organize the multilayered structure consisting of series-connected several basic multilayered solid-state different-sized structures. An example of such possible multilayered structure is shown on the Fig. 4A. If properties of materials from which Al and A2 layers are made, are identical, and their geometrical dimensions (H 41 , H 42 thicknesses) are close, then the variant shown on the Fig. 4B is another possible variant of the design of the multilayered structure. The according distribution of potential energy in the area of two-sided potential barriers in the multilayered structure on the Fig. 4B is shown on the Fig.4C.

The claimed converter of ambient thermal energy to electric power, presenting the multilayered solid-state different-sized structure, can be realized with the method of molecular-beam epitaxy, included in the state of the art, for example, described in the book by A.I. Gusev "Nanomaterials, nanostructures, nanotechnologies", M.: Fizmatlit, 2005, p. 379.

On Fig. 5 there is a layout view of unit for the growth of layers of the claimed basic multilayered solid-state different-sized structure of the converter of ambient thermal energy to electric power using molecular-beam epitaxy technology.

Using heating elements 8, presenting a crucible with incubated layer material, a template 9 is successively applied with layers of the basic multilayered structure: Al (pos.l), C (pos.4), B (pos.2), D (pos.5), A2 (pos.3). The evaporant with relatively high speed is transferred to template 9 or surface of already formed layer under conditions of high vacuum. In case of simultaneous operation of several heating elements 8, it is possible to form layers with complex chemical composition.

The control over a process of growing layers in a multilayered solid- state different-sized structure of the converter of ambient thermal energy to electric power is performed with help of mechanical shutters 10 located between heating element 8 and surface of the formed layer. The use of mechanical shutters 10 allows abruptly interrupting and restarting the supply of any material from heating elements 8, in such a manner adjusting the composition of layer material and its thickness.

While production of basic multilayered solid-state different-sized structure by the method of the molecular-beam epitaxy materials of all contacting Al, C, B, D, A2 layers have similar in values constants of the lattice.