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August 3rd, 2007
New Mexico Tech materials engineering researchers are working to make alternative energy cheaper and more efficient, and, therefore, more accessible to the general consumer.
Roy said people think nanotechnology, which involves particles one millionth of a centimeter in size (254 billionths of an inch), or texturing can increase the efficiency.
If nanoparticles make up the titanium oxide layer, Roy said, the surface area increases and so does the electron transfer. However, the electrons must move between the particles while the "grain boundaries" between them often trap electrons and decrease efficiency.
If nanorods, or tiny, thin whiskers, compose the titanium oxide layer, they eliminate grain boundaries.
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