Nanoscaling critical dimensions of advanced piezoelectric and thermoelectric materials is inching them toward commercial energy harvesting applications, according to separate research groups at Northwestern University and Boston College. Look for energy harvesting applications that cool down data centers and make electric automobiles more efficient within five years. R. Colin Johnson @NextGenLog
Piezoelectric nanowires undergo coupled electromechanical testing with a MEMS device.
Here is what my EETimes story says about energy harvesting: The peizoelectric research group, led by Northwestern University professor Horacio Espinosa, claims that its energy efficiency coefficient can be boosted by 20- to 100-times by narrowing energy harvesting nanowires to under 2.4 nanometers. Likewise, the second research group, led by Boston College researcher Xiao Yan, claims that thermoelectric materials can harvest heat from automobile exhaust 60 to 90 percent better by hot pressing them from 5 to 10 nanometer grains...
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