A new inorganic material with the lowest thermal conductivity ever recorded has been developed by a research team led by the University of Liverpool, in the United Kingdom.
If we take the thermal conductivity of steel as 1, then a titanium bar is 0.1, water and a building brick is 0.01, the new material is 0.001, and air is 0.0005.
Towards a more sustainable society
This discovery represents a breakthrough in atomic-scale heat flow control, achieved through materials design. This discovery paves the way for the development of new thermoelectric materials that will be fundamental to a sustainable society .
Approximately 70% of all the energy generated in the world is wasted in the form of heat. Low thermal conductivity materials are essential to reduce and take advantage of this waste. As explained by Matt Rosseinsky , from the Department of Chemistry and the Materials Innovation Factory at the University;
The discovered material has the lowest thermal conductivity of any inorganic solid and is almost as poor a conductor of heat as air itself. The implications of this discovery are important, both for fundamental scientific understanding and for practical applications in thermoelectric devices that collect waste heat and as thermal barrier coatings for more efficient gas turbines.