This is a scanning electron microscope image of a silicon nanowire array synthesized for thermoelectric applications.
Thermoelectric materials convert heat to electricity and vice versa. Most fossil-fuel-powered engines generate waste heat, so researchers are using nanotechnologies to explore ways of making thermoelectric devices more efficient in order to convert that waste heat to usable power—and thus save energy.
• SIZE: Each nanowire is approximately 100 nm in diameter.
• IMAGING TOOL: Scanning electron microscope