Solar Nanoantenna Energy Collectors
Clean Technology 2008

Solar Nanoantenna Energy Collectors

S. Novack, D. Kotter, P. Pinhero, D. Slafer
Idaho National Laboratory, US

nano antenna, energy conversion, solar

Solar Nanoantenna Energy Collectors Steven Novack Idaho National Laboratory Dale Kotter Idaho National Laboratory Patrick Pinhero University of Missouri-Columbia Dennis Slafer - MicroContinuum Alternative energy sources are a significant contributor to future US and world energy policies and will be part of a successful diverse energy portfolio. Traditional sources (e.g., nuclear, hydro, thermal, tides, solar) have some good applications, but also associated limitations. This research presents an alternate to the Photovoltaic (PV) approach, using recent advances in nano-technology, and provides a pathway for energy collectors that combine broadband energy collection with high efficiency and low cost. This presentation will focus on incorporation of antenna resonance from EM radiation to be used as a collector and disseminator of electrical energy. The antenna approach is a transformational technology and promises to become a better and much more efficient energy source concept. Past difficulties surrounding this approach have been due to the size of the antenna, which has to be relative to the wavelength of incident light to achieve resonance. Secondly, the challenge of scale-up for this technology has been a barrier to low cost manufacturing. The INL team has made some significant advances toward this end and has created a large scale demonstration product with trillions of antenna structures. This presentation will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of collecting IR radiation by nanoantennas, the utilitarian aspects of this technology, and the advances in large-scale production and roll-to-roll manufacturing. Lastly, examples of applications will be presented and future work plans to achieve these goals will be discussed.