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From icy water to steam via nano-particles [video]

New technology that uses nanoparticles to convert solar energy directly into steam is so effective it even works with icy cold water.

“We’re going from heating water on the macro scale to heating it at the nanoscale,” says Naomi Halas of the Laboratory for Nanophotonics at Rice University.

“Our particles are very small—even smaller than a wavelength of light—which means they have an extremely small surface area to dissipate heat. This intense heating allows us to generate steam locally, right at the surface of the particle, and the idea of generating steam locally is really counterintuitive.”

Full story at Futurity.

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