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New insight into thermoelectric materials may boost green technologies

16-05-2014

Thermoelectric materials can turn a temperature difference into an electric voltage. Among their uses in a variety of specialized applications: generating power on space probes and cooling seats in fancy cars. University of Miami (UM) physicist Joshua Cohn and his collaborators report new ...

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Halving hydrogen

First view of nature-inspired catalyst after ripping hydrogen apart provides insights for better, cheaper fuel cells

25-04-2014

Like a hungry diner ripping open a dinner roll, a fuel cell catalyst that converts hydrogen into electricity must tear open a hydrogen molecule. Now researchers have captured a view of such a catalyst holding onto the two halves of its hydrogen feast. The view confirms previous hypotheses and ...

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New, lower cost method to create more usable fuels

14-03-2014

As the United States continues to lead the world in the production of natural gas, scientists from the Florida campus of The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have devised a new and more efficient method with the potential to convert the major components found in natural gas into useable fuels ...

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Squeezing light into metals

11-03-2014

Using an inexpensive inkjet printer, University of Utah electrical engineers produced microscopic structures that use light in metals to carry information. This new technique, which controls electrical conductivity within such microstructures, could be used to rapidly fabricate superfast ...

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Magnetism and an electric field

20-02-2014

There is a big effort in industry to produce electrical devices with more and faster memory and logic. Magnetic memory elements, such as in a hard drive, and in the future in what is called MRAM (magnetic random access memory), use electrical currents to encode information. However, the heat ...

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Peekaboo... I see through!

MIT team develops a new, inexpensive transparent projection screen

24-01-2014

Picture the Louvre pyramid: the iconic glass pyramid that serves as main entrance and skylight to the landmark museum. The pyramid is illuminated at night, creating a magical ambience. Imagine strolling next to it while a video about the museum is projected on the glass in front of you, adding ...

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Acid mine drainage reduces radioactivity in fracking waste

2 wrongs could make a right in mining wastewater

13-01-2014

Much of the naturally occurring radioactivity in fracking wastewater might be removed by blending it with another wastewater from acid mine drainage, according to a Duke University-led study. "Fracking wastewater and acid mine drainage each pose well-documented environmental and public health ...

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Supercomputers join search for 'cheapium'

07-01-2014

In the search for cheaper materials that mimic their purer, more expensive counterparts, researchers are abandoning hunches and intuition for theoretical models and pure computing power. In a new study, researchers from Duke University’s Pratt School of Engineering used computational methods to ...

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Improving solar cell efficiency by optical design

06-11-2013

Scientists in the United States have designed a Cu2ZnSn(S, Se)4 (CZTSSe) solar cell with the greatest efficiency to date using an optical-design approach. The researchers describe a new optical architecture for CZTSSe photovoltaic devices that improves the record power-conversion efficiency for ...

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Recycling valuable materials used in TVs, car batteries, cell phones

04-11-2013

Many of today's technologies, from hybrid car batteries to flat-screen televisions, rely on materials known as rare earth elements (REEs) that are in short supply, but scientists are reporting development of a new method to recycle them from wastewater. The process, which is described in a study ...

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