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Eye on Research: Nanotechnology holds big potential for NMSU faculty

 One nanometer is about 10,000 times thinner than a hair," said Martinez, a chemical engineering assistant professor. "Those are the dimensions of the materials that my group works with to develop new research. Our research involves the use of advanced fabrication and characterization tools to understand the novel properties of nanostructured materials.

"We use nanomanipulation to essentially pick individual nanowires and place them in our devices. One example of nanotechnology application is converting heat into electricity by highly efficient thermoelectric materials."

Martinez explained that when heat is applied to thermoelectric materials, electric power is produced. The amount of electricity generated depends on how much heat is applied and the efficiency of the material to convert heat into electricity. That amount increases at the nano-level.

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