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MSE Seminar Series: Jeremy Munday
Friday, October 12, 2012
1:00 p.m.-2:00 p.m.
Room 2108 Chemical and Nuclear Engineering Bldg.
For More Information:
JoAnne Kagle
301 405 5240

Nanophotonics for Casimir Forces and Photovoltaics

Jeremy Munday
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
University of Maryland College Park

The interaction of light and matter is pervasive and governs many physical processes from atomic transitions to optoelectronic devices. As device dimensions become comparable to the wavelength of visible light, both quantum effects and optical waveguiding become important. In this talk, I will present two topics related to nanoscale optics. First, I will discuss the Casimir force, which results from the quantum mechanical behavior of light fields in vacuum. I will describe experiments in which we tailored this interaction between solid materials to achieve both attractive and repulsive nanoscale forces. Second, I will discuss the role of nanoscale optics in next generation photovoltaics. Counterintuitively, optically thin solar cells can outperform bulk cells if effective light collection is achieved. I will describe design principles necessary for creating world record solar cell efficiencies while using less semiconducting material through the use of photonic and plasmonic structures. Finally, perspectives on controlling quantum processes and nanoscale optics for future energy harvesting techniques will be discussed.

This Event is For: Graduate • Faculty • Post-Docs

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