Silicon nanowires get a charge from heat

Two ways to make silicon nanowires yield a potentially cost-effective ways to generate electricity from heat. One technique produces silicon nanowires with rough surfaces and the other silicon nanowires containing impurities similar to those used in computer chips. Thermoelectric materials hold the promise of generating electricity from the massive amount of heat wasted by factories, power plants, furnaces and vehicle engines. (Enhanced Thermoelectric Performance of Rough Silicon Nanowires, Silicon Nanowires As Efficient Thermoelectric Materials, Nature, January 10, 2008)


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