AC/DC Power Converter as Wide as a Human Hair
March Meeting 2010
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Every laptop comes with a power adapter, a clunky black box on the power cord that converts the alternating current (AC) in the outlet to the direct current (DC) that feeds the computer. The U.S. Army, which puts a premium on size and weight, is funding research to create smaller, lighter power converters—suitable for low-power devices that require a small package size, such as wireless sensors, biomedical implants, or communications devices.
Mark Griep, Govind Mallick, and Shashi Karna of the U.S. Army Research Lab, in collaboration with Pulickel Ajayan of Rice University, have developed a new diode rectifier made of single-walled carbon nanotubes only the width of a human hair. It demonstrates a power conversion efficiency of 20 percent, comparable to larger MOSFET diodes. "Another potential application is low voltage energy harvesting" said Karna.
Related March Meeting Session
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