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Web Date: November 3, 2011

Turning Heat Into Electricity

Materials Science: Device converts infrared radiation directly into electricity
Department: Science & Technology
News Channels: Environmental SCENE, Materials SCENE
Keywords: infrared, plasmon, optics, energy conversion

A thin-film device turns an annoying optical effect into a means to convert infrared radiation directly into electricity (Nano Lett., DOI:10.1021/nl203196z). The device is still in its early stages, but researchers hope it will lead to inexpensive, flexible films that could recoup wasted energy when they are wrapped around hot machines such as industrial generators or car engines.

The hotter an object is the more infrared radiation it produces. Harvesting energy from . . .

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