Other materials stories that may be of interest

By Jim Destefani / November 4, 2013

Other materials stories that may be of interest.

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Researchers one step closer to new kind of thermoelectric ‘heat engine’

By / July 13, 2012

Researchers at Ohio State University have discovered how to magnify a quantum mechanical effect that converts heat into a special kind of electrical current. In this artist’s rendering, a polarized electron (center) travels through a semiconductor crystal inside a magnetic field. The spheres surrounding the electron are atoms within the crystal. Heat particles called phonons…

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ARO report on materials with spin-mediated thermal properties and call for additional research toward thermoelectrics

By / June 8, 2012

Credit: Nature. Contributed by Pani Varanasi, Program Manager, Physical Properties of Materials, Materials Science Division, Army Research Office: Thermal transport in materials by phonons and electrons is relatively well understood as compared to heat transport in materials by spin excitations (i.e., thermal conductivity in materials due to magnons). Although high thermal conductivity due to magnons has been observed…

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An update on PowerPots and crowdfunding money pots

By / May 4, 2012

About two weeks ago, I wrote about a startup company founded by two ex-materials science students that goes by the name of Power Practical. The company has developed some nifty thermoelectrics gadgets called PowerPots that combined a camper’s cookpot with an integrated power-generation system that could be used for LED lights, charging cell phones and…

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Two new Materials Marvels videos: ‘Thermoelectrics” and “Nanomaterials”

By / February 13, 2012

Credit: Ainissa Ramirez, Yale; YouTube. Science “popularizer” and Yale associate professor Ainissa Ramirez alerted us that she has added two new videos to her Material Marvels collection of short introductory videos to various materials topics. Her latest videos are on “Thermoelectrics” (above) and  “Nanomaterials” (below). If you are an engineer or science professional, you already…

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Other materials stories that may be of interest

By / November 8, 2011

Check ’em out: How to increase the data storage density of HDDs: Just add salt A team of researchers from Singapore has moved the goalposts yet again and shown that traditional hard disk drives still have some life in them by developing a process that can increase the data recording density of HDDs to six…

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ARPA-E awards $15.5M to leverage $108M for five clean tech innovators; says rare-earth innovations awards coming

By / August 31, 2011

Transphorm, one of the companies that will be receiving ARPA-E and private investment funding, uses gallium nitride transistors to tackle the current level of power conversion losses (10%). Credit: Energy Information Administration. ARPA-E announced a new round of seed awards, $1.5–$6 million each, which the agency says will unlock a total investment of $100 million…

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Solar refrigeration coming to off-grid areas

By / January 12, 2009

A cool idea for solar-powered cold-storage is about to make refrigeration a lot more affordable, practical and environmentally friendly in off-the-grid and partially-electrified areas of the world. Birth of a ‘cool’ concept The system is an energy-efficient hybrid refrigerator that combines conventional compressor-created cold air with clean, quiet cooling generated by thermoelectric technology and photovoltaic solar…

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Air Force cuts costs, boosts performance of aerospace mirrors

By / January 9, 2009

Air Force researchers are investigating ways to boost the performance of aerospace mirrors, while cutting in half the cost and time required to manufacture them. No wonder! It takes about two years and nearly one million dollars to produce a one-meter, lightweight glass aerospace mirror, according to the AF Research Lab’s Materials and Manufacturing Directorate.…

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