New approaches to full spectrum solar energy conversion


California Institute of Technology

Hall Auditorium, Gates-Thomas Laboratory [map]

LIVE Internet Broadcast

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The recorded presentations and panel discussion are now available for online viewing.


The Light-Material Interactions in Energy Conversion Energy Frontier Research Center (LMI-EFRC) is excited to offer this free public webinar on New Approaches to Full Spectrum Solar Energy Conversion.


The LMI-EFRC is made up of world leaders creating new optical materials and innovative photonic designs that engineer and control light-material interactions, with the goal of achieving efficient use of the entire visible and infrared solar resource. This webinar will feature presentations and an interactive panel discussion with some of our experts from Caltech, Harvard, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Stanford, and University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. We will have interactive question and answer sessions after each of the presentations and during the panel discussion.



Paul Alivisatos

8:30-9:00 am PDT

Quantum Dot Luminescent Concentrators

Paul Alivisatos, Director of Lawrence Berkeley National
Laboratory; Samsung Distinguished Professor of
Nanoscience and Nanotechnology and Professor of Chemistry and
Materials Science & Engineering

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

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Abstract: Bright and photo-stable quantum dots with narrowband emission can be used as downconverters in a new generation of luminescent concentrator.  Such concentrators can be integrated with existing solar cell technologies to provide improvements in performance.  This talk will describe recent programs in implementing such a design for single-gap solar harvesting, as well as the prospects for a multi-gap concentrator system.


Shanhui Fan

9:00-9:30 am PDT

Control of Thermal Radiation Using Photonic Structures for Energy Applications

Shanhui Fan, Professor of Electrical Engineering

Stanford University

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Nanophotonic structures provide new opportunities to control both the near and far field of thermal electromagnetic fields. Exploiting these opportunities can lead to significant novel energy device and system applications. In this talk, we review some of our recent theoretical and experimental efforts towards developing some of these nanophotonic structures, leading to new applications in energy conversion and radiative cooling.


Jennifer Lewis

9:30-10:00 am PDT

Printing Functional Materials

Jennifer Lewis, Hansjörg Wyss Professor of Biologically Inspired Engineering

Harvard University

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Abstract: The ability to pattern functional materials in planar and three-dimensional forms is of critical importance for several emerging applications, including flexible electronics, sensors, and photovoltaics. We have developed a multimaterial 3D printing platform that enables the rapid design and fabrication of these devices in arbitrary shapes without the need for expensive tooling, dies, or lithographic masks. In this talk, I will describe our recent efforts to create soft electronics and sensors for applications ranging from wearable devices to intelligent biochips as well as initial work on photovoltaics.


10:00-10:30 am PDT

Panel Discussion: Enabling Science for Full Spectrum Conversion

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Harry Atwater

Harry Atwater, Howard Hughes Professor and Professor of Applied Physics and Materials Science; Director, Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis; Director, Resnick Sustainability Institute

California Institute of Technology



Jennifer Dionne

Jennifer Dionne, Assistant Professor of Materials Science and Engineering

Stanford University




Eli Yablonovitch

Eli Yablonovitch, Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science; Director, NSF Center for Energy Efficient Electronics Science

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory




Ralph Nuzzo

Ralph Nuzzo, G. L. Clark Professor of Chemistry; Director, LMI-EFRC; Visiting Associate in Applied Physics and Materials Science, California Institute of Technology

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and California Institute of Technology