Energy efficiency

At SDU Nano Optics, our principal research direction is concerned with the development of plasmonic waveguides and waveguide components that would allow one to drastically scale down photonic circuitry and decrease energy consumption in active components.

In addition, we engineer the absorption and emission of light in metallic nanostructures for the benefit of energy efficient thermophotovoltaics. Conventional photovoltaic (PV) cells can only convert a very narrow spectral region of sunlight efficiently, while a large part of the energy reaching the cell does not generate electricity at all, or only does so very inefficiently. One way to increase the efficiency of solar cells is by using a thermo-photovoltaic cell, where the entire solar spectrum is first absorbed and then re-emitted thermally at the maximum efficiency point of the PV-cell. This requires the use of thermal and chemical stable absorbers with stringent criteria on the spectral absorption over a very wide range of wavelengths in order to guarantee efficient absorption of sunlight while preventing thermal emission from the absorber itself.

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