Plasmonic device converts light into electricity

(PhysOrg.com) -- While the most common device for converting light into electricity may be photovoltaic (PV) solar cells, a variety of other devices can perform the same light-to-electricity conversion, such as solar-thermal ...

Solving a mystery of thermoelectrics

Materials that can be used for thermoelectric devices—those that turn a temperature difference into an electric voltage—have been known for decades. But until now there has been no good explanation for why just a few ...

Scientists transform polyethylene into a heat-conducting material

Most polymers -- materials made of long, chain-like molecules -- are very good insulators for both heat and electricity. But an MIT team has found a way to transform the most widely used polymer, polyethylene, into a material ...

Computation helps predict heat transfer in diamond

(PhysOrg.com) -- Cornell researcher Derek Stewart and collaborators have calculated the exact mechanism by which diamond conducts heat, a breakthrough that could lend insight into many fields, including electronics.

Controlling thermal conductivity of polymers with light

Polymers are regularly used as thermal insulators for everything from keeping beverages hot to keeping sensitive electronics cool. In some cases, polymers can even be used as thermal conductors to enable efficient heating ...

Insulating bricks with microscopic bubbles

The better a building is insulated, the less heat is lost in winter—and the less energy is needed to achieve a comfortable room temperature. The Swiss Federal Office of Energy (SFOE) regularly raises the requirements for ...

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