A $40 microwave oven is the tool Professor of Materials Science and Engineering Ganpati Ramanath uses at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute to cook up nanoparticles previously produced with much more costly equipment. After some experimentation with cooking time and ingredients, Ramanath said, "there's no difference between microwave cooking and what we do" elsewhere. So far, the microwaved nanoparticles have been used to create nanoglues and thermoelectric materials that interconvert heat and electricity.

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