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Liquid-like Materials May Pave Way For New Thermoelectric Devices
2012-03-24 02:49:43

In the continual quest for better thermoelectric materials–which convert heat into electricity and vice versa–researchers have identified a liquid-like compound whose properties give it the potential to be even more efficient than traditional thermoelectrics. Thermoelectric materials have been used to power spacecraft ranging from Apollo to the Curiosity rover now headed for Mars. Recently, however, scientists and engineers have been turning to these materials to use wasted...

2012-03-09 02:17:21

An international team of physicists has developed a method for taking ultrafast “sonograms” that can track the structural changes that take place within solid materials in trillionth-of-a-second intervals as they go through an important physical process called a phase transition. Common phase transitions include the melting of candle wax before it burns and dissolving sugar in water. They are purely structural changes that produce dramatic changes in a material´s physical...

2012-03-09 00:24:10

"Lucky" combination of chemicals and laser pulses enables high-resolution, 3D patterning for futuristic optical materials Researchers in applied physics have cleared an important hurdle in the development of advanced materials, called metamaterials, that bend light in unusual ways. Working at a scale applicable to infrared light, the Harvard team has used extremely short and powerful laser pulses to create three-dimensional patterns of tiny silver dots within a material. Those suspended...

Image 1 - Scientists Uncover The Mystery Of Nanoscale Crop Circles
2012-03-04 06:04:14

[ Watch the Video ] In strange patterns of a gold-silicon alloy, Berkeley Lab scientists uncover unsuspected secrets and promising routes to nanoscale semiconductor processing Almost three years ago a team of scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy´s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) was performing an experiment in which layers of gold mere nanometers (billionths of a meter) thick were being heated on a flat silicon surface and then allowed to cool. They...

2012-02-20 11:46:05

AAAS presentation: Charles Clark Just as NASA engineers test new rocket designs in computer studies before committing themselves to full prototypes, so physicists will often model matter under various circumstances to see whether something new appears. This is especially true of atomtronics, a relatively new science devoted to creating artificial tailored materials consisting of neutral atoms held in an array with laser beams, or atoms moving along a desired track under electric or...

2012-02-13 23:22:02

In the effort to convert sunlight into electricity, photovoltaic solar cells that use conductive organic polymers for light absorption and conversion have shown great potential. Organic polymers can be produced in high volumes at low cost, resulting in photovoltaic devices that are cheap, lightweight and flexible. In the last few years, much work has been done to improve the efficiency with which these devices convert sunlight into power, including the development of new materials, device...

2012-01-18 00:42:27

To better understand the fundamental behavior of molecules at surfaces, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory are combining the powers of neutron scattering with chemical analysis. Scientists have a fundamental interest in how molecules behave at solid surfaces because surface interactions influence chemistry, such as in materials for catalysis, drug delivery and carbon sequestration. Understanding these interactions allows researchers to tailor...

2011-12-14 19:53:26

Discovery may be boon to engineers, manufacturers A stroll on the beach can mean sinking your toes into smooth sand or walking firm-footed on a surface that appears almost solid. While both properties are commonplace, exactly what it is that makes granular materials change from a flowing state to a “jammed,” or solid, state? Whether it´s sand on a beach or rice grains in a hopper, being able to predict the behavior of granular matter can help engineers and manufacturers of...

2011-12-12 17:37:11

Microscopic water droplets jumping from one surface to another may hold the key to a wide array of more energy efficient products, ranging from large solar panels to compact laptop computers. Duke University engineers have developed a new way of producing thermal diodes to regulate heat by bleeding it away or keeping it in. The method solves several shortcomings of existing devices. While thermal diodes can be made from solid materials, these solid-state diodes are not nearly as...


Word of the Day
monteith
  • A large punch-bowl of the eighteenth century, usually of silver and with a movable rim, and decorated with flutings and a scalloped edge. It was also used for cooling and carrying wine-glasses.
  • A kind of cotton handkerchief having white spots on a colored ground, the spots being produced by a chemical which discharges the color.
This word is possibly named after Monteith (Monteigh), 'an eccentric 17th-century Scotsman who wore a cloak scalloped at the hem.'
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