OSA Incubator on the Fundamental Limits of Optical Energy Conversion
By Jonathan Tong
It is this fact that brings a top scientists to Washington, DC and the OSA Incubator on the Fundamental Limits of Optical Energy! I am excited to be part of the host team which includes Svetlana V. Boriskina, Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Vivian Ferry, University of Minnesota; Alexander Kildishev, Purdue University; and Jurgen Michel, Massachusetts Institute of Technology. This event has brought together leading researchers in the fields of classical and quantum photonics, plasmonics, metamaterials, colloidal chemistry, nano-mechanics as well as material, chemical, and thermal engineering with partners from industry and the government for a discussion on the fundamental limits, recent advances, and future challenges of optical energy conversion.
All of us here know a rigorous thermodynamic treatment of the conversion of photons to other forms of energy (electricity or heat) is needed to establish fundamental limits in various energy conversion schemes. In order to approach these limits in real devices and systems, several strategies could be used including density of states engineering via nanostructuring effects to spectrally shape emission and absorption, understanding and controlling the interaction of photons with other fundamental energy carriers (electrons and phonons), as well as development of new materials.
In addition, this Incubator will also explore alternative energy conversion schemes including thermionic energy converters, solar fuels in addition to developments in photovoltaics. A particular emphasis will focus on energy conversion in the infrared wavelength range and to what extent emissive and absorptive properties can be controlled for applications including thermophotovoltaics and photoluminescence. As one of the organizers I can tell you that it is our hope that this meeting will foster collaborative discussions to provide new insight on the thermodynamic limits of photonic energy conversion and potential strategies towards reaching these limits in real devices and systems.
I also want to thank our sponsors Advanced Research Program Agency – Energy (ARPA-E), Massachusetts Institute of Technology Lincoln Laboratory, ISI Physical Sciences Inc., and the U.S. Department of Energy who helped make this Incubator possible – and in particular helped make sure we could include students for this event – several whom brought posters.
Please stay tuned for more updates!
Eli Yablonovich, University of California Berkeley
Svetlana Boriskina, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Posted: 13 November 2014 by Jonathan Tong | with 0 comments
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