Vanadium dioxide is found to have characteristics of heat insulation. In Vanadium dioxide, we can have electrical conductivity with thermal insulation properties. A group of researchers from the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory, in conjunction with the University of California, discovered a property in vanadium dioxide that is not present in the other metals. Specifically, scientists determined that this metal allows the conductivity of electricity, however, the same does not happen with heat.
This discovery poses a real change for the automotive sector and the electronics sector. A vast majority of the metals that exist in the world have a property called the Wiedemann-Franz law. That is based on the relationship between electrical and thermal conductivity. This law states that if the metal is a conductor of electricity, it also conducts heat.
How Does Vanadium dioxide work for heat insulation?
However, this law is not applicable to transition metals such as vanadium. For example, vanadium dioxide changes from an insulating element to a conductive element if the temperature changes.
Now, through a report, the researchers revealed a property in vanadium dioxide. That is, the heat conductivity due to the movement of electrons is 10 times less than that affirmed by the Wiedemann-Franz law. In this sense, Junqiao Wu, Berkeley scientist and head of the research group, revealed:
In vanadium dioxide, the electrons move in unison, as in a fluid, instead of in all directions as the common metals. Also, that happens through the coordinated movement of electrons, as if it were the band of a parade, acts to the detriment of thermal conductivity.
However, vanadium dioxide is not the first metallic element that meets this conductivity condition. The really different thing is that it is carried out at room temperature, instead of being subjected to low temperatures to achieve it.
Although this compound is still in the testing phase. And if it gets official, it can offer great alternatives for people. Also, we can use it as a heat insulation system in engines and an electric power generator.