Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors

Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button


Home > Press > Nanotech Could Make Solar Energy as Easy and Cheap as Growing Grass

Scientists are working to produce cheap, sustainable solar energy by imitating nature. Nanotechnology researchers like California Institute of Technology professor Nate Lewis are exploring nanoscale materials that mimic the architecture of grass and photosynthesis to capture and store the sun's energy.

Nanotech Could Make Solar Energy as Easy and Cheap as Growing Grass

Washington, DC | Posted on September 17th, 2007

A new podcast looks at how Dr. Lewis and his CalTech research team are trying to imbed tiny nanoparticles into simple, inexpensive everyday products like house paint and roof tiles to revolutionize the way solar energy is produced.

"More energy from the sun hits the earth in an hour than all the energy consumed by human beings on our planet in an entire year. So, if we are going to find an efficient, environmentally-friendly substitute for fossil fuels, it makes sense to exploit the sun," says Dr. Lewis. "Nanotechnology offers us a way, in principle, to make very cheap materials-like the paint you buy at Home Depot-act as solar cells and batteries."

Ordinary-looking, nano-enabled house paint, roofs or shingles could replace today's black, glasslike photovoltaic cells which are usually composed of crystalline silicon and are unwieldy, unsightly and very expensive to manufacture. In addition to homes, this innovative technology someday could power cell phones, laptops and even automobiles.

Listen to Dr. Lewis talk about his research in the latest episode of an exciting new series of podcasts, Trips to the NanoFrontier. Produced by the Wilson Center's Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies, these podcasts are available online at , or directly from Apple's iTunes music store.

The podcasts and a recent publication, NanoFrontiers: Visions for the Future of Nanotechnology ( ), are written by freelance science writer Karen F. Schmidt. They continue the discussion begun at the February 2006 NanoFrontiers forecasting workshop, co-sponsored by the National Science Foundation (NSF), National Institutes of Health (NIH), and the Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies.

About Nanotechnology

Nanotechnology entails the measurement, prediction and construction of materials on the scale of atoms and molecules. A nanometer is one-billionth of a meter, and nanotechnology typically deals with particles and structures larger than 1 nanometer, but smaller than 100 nanometers. To put this into perspective, the width of a human hair is approximately 80,000 nanometers. In 2014, Lux Research estimates that $2.6 trillion in manufactured goods will incorporate nanotech, or about 15 percent of total global output.


About The Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies
The Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies ( is an initiative launched by the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and The Pew Charitable Trusts in 2005. It is dedicated to helping business, government and the public anticipate and manage possible health and environmental implications of nanotechnology.

For more information, please click here

Sharon McCarter
Phone: (202) 691-4016

Copyright © Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related News Press


Scientists found a natural nanostructure to control the flow of light October 4th, 2015

Industrial Nanotech, Inc. Announces New Office in Arizona to Service the Company's New Regional and National Home Builders in Arizona and Nevada October 2nd, 2015

Production of High Temperature Ceramics with Modified Properties in Iran October 2nd, 2015

ISO Approves 2 Int'l Nanotechnology-Related Standards Proposed by Iran October 2nd, 2015


Crystal clear: Thousand-fold fluorescence enhancement in an all-polymer thin film: Griffith University researchers report breakthrough due to novel and multi-layer Colloidal Photonic Crystal structure October 2nd, 2015

New Nanomaterials Taking Research to Mexico, Possibly into Space September 29th, 2015

Zenyatta Ventures Ltd. Graphite Has Unique Properties for Valuable Graphene Applications, According to Ben-Gurion U. Researchers September 28th, 2015

Cheap Nanomembrane, New Option for High-Temperature Fuel Cells September 26th, 2015


New Nanomaterials Taking Research to Mexico, Possibly into Space September 29th, 2015

A different type of 2-D semiconductor: Berkeley Lab researchers produce first ultrathin sheets of perovskite hybrids September 26th, 2015

Stanford engineers invent transparent coating that cools solar cells to boost efficiency: The quandary: The hotter solar cells get, the less efficiently they convert sunlight to electricity; The fix: A new transparent overlay allows light to hit the cells while shunting heat away September 22nd, 2015

Inexpensive Method Reduces Costs to Produce Light Sorbent Nanostructured Layers September 20th, 2015

The latest news from around the world, FREE

  Premium Products
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
University Technology Transfer & Patents
 Learn More
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More

Nanotechnology Now Featured Books


The Hunger Project

Car Brands
Buy website traffic