Tunable nano-suspensions for light harvesting

August 22, 2011

A Syracuse University researcher has developed a patent-pending robust process to manufacture stable suspensions of metal nanoparticles capable of capturing sunlight.

Radhakrishna Sureshkumar, professor and chair of biomedical and chemical engineering in Syracuse University's L.C. Smith College of Engineering and Computer Science, and professor of physics, has developed a patent-pending robust process to manufacture stable suspensions of metal nanoparticles capable of capturing sunlight. By changing the composition of the suspension, the researchers can "dial in" to a given wavelength (color) of the spectrum. The published Sureshkumar's research in in July 2011 and his work will be presented at the SPIE Optics + Photonics conference on August 23.

Sureshkumar's utilized suspensions containing different types or a mixture of capable of interacting with different wavelengths of the through a phenomenon referred to as "plasmon resonance". When nanoparticles are introduced into a solution, their natural tendency is to agglomerate and settle down to the bottom of the solution. Hence, such suspensions are inherently unstable. This key challenge was overcome by Sureshkumar and coworkers by employing micelle fragments to act as bridges between nanoparticles thus holding them in place.

Along with LCS graduate students Tao Cong, Satvik Wani and Peter Paynter, Sureshkumar worked with Brookhaven National Laboratory's Center for Functional to characterize the nano-suspensions using small angle x-ray scattering (SAXS) experiments to confirm their ability to create optimal nanoparticle dispersions with tunable .

"Several applications for this research can be envisioned within the energy field. For instance, the suspensions could be used as precursors to create coatings that improve the light trapping efficiency of thin film photovoltaic devices. Another application would be in the manufacturing of multifunctional smart glasses for building windows that generate energy from the visible range while blocking harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays."

Explore further: Researchers use nanobiotechnology-manipulated light particles to accelerate algae growth

Related Stories

Using light to build nanoparticles into superstructures

March 15, 2011

Scientists in the Center for Nanoscale Materials and Argonne's Biosciences Division have demonstrated a remarkably simple, elegant, and cost-effective way of assembling nanoparticles into larger structures of any desired ...

In Brief: Bifunctional plasmonic / magnetic nanoparticles

August 19, 2011

An amorphous-seed mediated strategy has been developed in the Center for Nanoscale Materials Nanophotonics Group at the Argonne National Laboratory for creating bifunctional nanoparticles composed of silver and iron oxide ...

Recommended for you

An engineered surface unsticks sticky water droplets

August 31, 2015

The leaves of the lotus flower, and other natural surfaces that repel water and dirt, have been the model for many types of engineered liquid-repelling surfaces. As slippery as these surfaces are, however, tiny water droplets ...

Electrical circuit made of gel can repair itself

August 25, 2015

(Phys.org)—Scientists have fabricated a flexible electrical circuit that, when cut into two pieces, can repair itself and fully restore its original conductivity. The circuit is made of a new gel that possesses a combination ...

2 comments

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Isaacsname
5 / 5 (1) Aug 22, 2011
Windows that act as solar panels. I bet we will be able to paint any surface to act as a solar panel within the next 10 years.
hjbasutu
not rated yet Aug 26, 2011
cold fusion is the only way forward...

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.