Progress on a Powerful New Way to Generate Electricity
MIT Technology Review
A powerful new way to generate electricity could eventually make electric cars and electronic gadgets run longer.
About four years ago, researchers in Michael Strano’s chemical engineering lab at MIT coated a short piece of yarn made of carbon nanotubes with TNT and lit one end with a laser. It sparkled and burned like a fuse, demonstrating a new way to generate electricity that produces phenomenal amounts of power.
At the time, no one understood how it worked, and it was so inefficient that it was little more than a “laboratory curiosity,” Strano says.
Now, Strano has figured out the underlying physics, which has helped his team improve efficiencies dramatically—by 10,000 times—and charted a path for continued rapid improvements.
Aug 30, 2014