Saturday, March 22, 2008

Nano Development Yields Big Step Forward in Power Generation

Nano-breakthrough: Dramatic Increase In Thermoelectric Efficiency Heralds New Era In Heating, Cooling And Power Generation:

ScienceDaily (Mar. 21, 2008) — Researchers at Boston College and MIT have used nanotechnology to achieve a major increase in thermoelectric efficiency, a milestone that paves the way for a new generation of products -- from semiconductors and air conditioners to car exhaust systems and solar power technology -- that run cleaner...

...Using nanotechnology, the researchers at BC and MIT produced a big increase in the thermoelectric efficiency of bismuth antimony telluride -- a semiconductor alloy that has been commonly used in commercial devices since the 1950s -- in bulk form. Specifically, the team realized a 40 percent increase in the alloy's figure of merit, a term scientists use to measure a material's relative performance. The achievement marks the first such gain in a half-century using the cost-effective material that functions at room temperatures and up to 250 degrees Celsius. The success using the relatively inexpensive and environmentally friendly alloy means the discovery can quickly be applied to a range of uses, leading to higher cooling and power generation efficiency...


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