Researchers from Boston College, MIT, Clemson University and the University of Virginia have used a nanotechnology processing technology to achieve a 60 to 90 percent increase in the thermoelectric figure of merit of p-type half-Heusler, a common bulk semiconductor compound. The team’s paper has been published in the journal Nano Letters. Half-Heusler compounds and the […]

According to the Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s 2008 report (a pdf), more than two-thirds of the fuel used to generate power in the United States is lost as heat.  The report claims the U. S. has the lowest energy productivity (a measure of how much raw energy goes into every dollar of GDP) of any […]

Tiny generators that could produce enough electricity from random, ambient vibrations to power a wristwatch, pacemaker or wireless sensor would offset a bit of lithium and stacked might replace some of those transformer blocks to recharge batteries. Khalil Najafi, chair of electrical and computer engineering and Tzeno Galchev, a doctoral student at the University of […]

Sound is energy is motion whether in gasses, fluids or through solid materials it could be something worth pursuit. A team at the University of Wisconsin-Madison is on it with a new material made from crystals of zinc oxide that, when immersed in water, absorb vibrations and develop areas of strong negative and positive charge. […]

Driven by the vision of our society one day being basically self-propelled, a team of University of Houston scientists has set out to both amplify and provoke that potential in materials known as piezoelectrics, which naturally produce electricity when literally subjected to strain. Engineers at Leeds in the U.K. are developing a way to capture […]