Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New power generation technique: Hybrid nanomaterial converts light and thermal energy into electrical current

Date:
November 12, 2012
Source:
University of Texas at Arlington
Summary:
Researchers have created a hybrid nanomaterial that can be used to convert light and thermal energy into electrical current. The team built a prototype thermoelectric generator they hope can eventually produce milliwatts for use in devices such as self-powering sensors, low-power electronic devices and implantable biomedical micro-devices, they said. They have also coupled gold nanoparticles with copper sulfide nanoparticles for potential use in cancer therapy.

Light bulb. A new hybrid nanomaterial can be used to convert light and thermal energy into electrical current, surpassing earlier methods that used either light or thermal energy, but not both.
Credit: Š Beboy / Fotolia

A University of Texas at Arlington physics professor has helped create a hybrid nanomaterial that can be used to convert light and thermal energy into electrical current, surpassing earlier methods that used either light or thermal energy, but not both.

Related Articles


Working with Louisiana Tech University assistant professor Long Que, UT Arlington associate physics professor Wei Chen and graduate students Santana Bala Lakshmanan and Chang Yang synthesized a combination of copper sulfide nanoparticles and single-walled carbon nanotubes.

The team used the nanomaterial to build a prototype thermoelectric generator that they hope can eventually produce milliwatts of power. Paired with microchips, the technology could be used in devices such as self-powering sensors, low-power electronic devices and implantable biomedical micro-devices, Chen said.

"If we can convert both light and heat to electricity, the potential is huge for energy production," Chen said. "By increasing the number of the micro-devices on a chip, this technology might offer a new and efficient platform to complement or even replace current solar cell technology."

In lab tests, the new thin-film structure showed increases by as much at 80 percent in light absorption when compared to single-walled nanotube thin-film devices alone, making it a more efficient generator.

Copper sulfide is also less expensive and more environment-friendly than the noble metals used in similar hybrids.

In October, the journal Nanotechnology published a paper on the work called "Optical thermal response of single-walled carbon nanotube-copper sulfide nanoparticle hybrid nanomaterials." In it, researchers also say also found that they could enhance the thermal and optical switching effects of the hybrid nanomaterial as much as ten times by using asymmetric illumination, rather than symmetric illumination.

Coauthors on the Nanotechnology paper from Louisiana Tech include Yi-Hsuan Tseng, Yuan He and Que, all of the school's Institute for Micromanufacturing.

"Dr. Chen's research with nanomaterials is an important advancement with the potential for far-reaching applications," said Pamela Jansma, dean of the UT Arlington College of Science. "This is the kind of work that demonstrates the value of a research university in North Texas and beyond."

Chen is currently receiving funding from the U.S. Department of Defense to develop nanoparticle self-lighting photodynamic therapy for use against breast and prostate cancers. In 2010, he was the first to publish results in the journal Nanomedicine demonstrating that near infrared light could be used to heat copper sulfide nanoparticles for photothermal therapy in cancer treatment, which destroys cancer cells with heat between 41 and 45 degrees Celsius.

Next month, the Journal of Biomedical Nanotechnology will publish Chen's work successfully coupling gold nanoparticles with the copper sulfide nanoparticles for the photothermal therapy. Such a material would be less costly and potentially more effective than using gold particles alone, Chen said.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Texas at Arlington. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal References:

  1. Santana Bala Lakshmanan, Xiaoju Zou, Marius Hossu, Lun Ma, Chang Yang, Wei Chen. Local Field Enhanced Au/CuS Nanocomposites as Efficient Photothermal Transducer Agents for Cancer Treatment. Journal of Biomedical Nanotechnology, 2012; 8 (6): 883 DOI: 10.1166/jbn.2012.1486
  2. Yi-Hsuan Tseng, Yuan He, Santana Lakshmanan, Chang Yang, Wei Chen, Long Que. Optical and thermal response of single-walled carbon nanotube–copper sulfide nanoparticle hybrid nanomaterials. Nanotechnology, 2012; 23 (45): 455708 DOI: 10.1088/0957-4484/23/45/455708

Cite This Page:

University of Texas at Arlington. "New power generation technique: Hybrid nanomaterial converts light and thermal energy into electrical current." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 12 November 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121112135654.htm>.
University of Texas at Arlington. (2012, November 12). New power generation technique: Hybrid nanomaterial converts light and thermal energy into electrical current. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121112135654.htm
University of Texas at Arlington. "New power generation technique: Hybrid nanomaterial converts light and thermal energy into electrical current." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121112135654.htm (accessed December 21, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Matter & Energy News

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Building Google Into Cars

Building Google Into Cars

Reuters - Business Video Online (Dec. 19, 2014) — Google's next Android version could become the standard that'll power your vehicle's entertainment and navigation features, Reuters has learned. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
AP Review: Nikon D750 and GoPro Hero 4

AP Review: Nikon D750 and GoPro Hero 4

AP (Dec. 19, 2014) — What to buy an experienced photographer or video shooter? There is some strong gear on the market from Nikon and GoPro. The AP's Ron Harris takes a closer look. (Dec. 19) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Double-Amputee Becomes First To Move Two Prosthetic Arms With His Mind

Double-Amputee Becomes First To Move Two Prosthetic Arms With His Mind

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) — A double-amputee makes history by becoming the first person to wear and operate two prosthetic arms using only his mind. Jen Markham has the story. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Navy Unveils Robot Fish

Navy Unveils Robot Fish

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Dec. 18, 2014) — The U.S. Navy unveils an underwater device that mimics the movement of a fish. Tara Cleary reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins