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Out of disorder comes electricty

Nanostructured thermoelectric material breaks record for turning heat into electricity.

Geoff Brumfiel

A scrambled-up material has broken the record for converting heat into electricity. Findings published today in Nature suggest that disorder may be the key to creating a new generation of energy-harvesting technologies.

Laptop owners and car mechanics alike know that heat is a major by-product of any kind of work. In power stations, for example, only one-third of the energy that goes into the generator comes out as electricity — the rest radiates away as ‘waste heat’ before it can turn a turbine.

Read more: Out of disorder comes electricty : Nature News & Comment

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