Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors





Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button


DHgate

Home > Press > UC Merced Professor Receives $1.3 Million National Science Foundation Grant

School of Natural Sciences professor David Kelley received a $1.3M grant to improve luminescent solar concentrators.
School of Natural Sciences professor David Kelley received a $1.3M grant to improve luminescent solar concentrators.

Abstract:
David Kelley and colleagues will attempt to improve luminescent solar concentrators, used to channel solar energy

UC Merced Professor Receives $1.3 Million National Science Foundation Grant

Merced, CA | Posted on October 6th, 2009

For years, University of California, Merced, professor David Kelley's research has focused on finding a less expensive method to harness and use solar energy.

While the sun has been used to power small devices such as calculators or landscape lighting, using solar energy on a large-scale basis is costly.

"The technology is good, but it's expensive," said Kelley. "The idea is to make solar energy more practical."

School of Natural Sciences professor Kelley, along with two other UC Merced colleagues, will attempt to do just that by improving existing technology. He received a three-year $1.3 million grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to develop luminescent solar concentrators (LSCs) that use materials other than silicon as semiconductors.

For his research, Kelley will attempt to improve a device called a luminescent solar concentrator. These concentrators work by absorbing sunlight across a wide area then re-emitting it onto a small photovoltaic cell. It's less expensive to use luminescent solar concentrators because they don't have moving parts that must track light as the sun moves across the sky.

"UC Merced is pleased that the National Science Foundation recognizes the potential of professor Kelley's work," said Samuel Traina, vice chancellor for research and dean of graduate studies. "Research in this area will contribute significantly to reducing costs associated with solar power generation that could, in turn, lead to wider applications of the technology."

While the sun is an inexhaustible, renewable energy source, using it to produce electricity is expensive for two reasons. First, photovoltaic cells, which convert sunlight into electricity, are made with silicon, an expensive material to use because of the steps needed to remove impurities. Second, many of those expensive solar cells are needed to collect that energy in order to convert it into electricity.

A problem with existing luminescent solar concentrators - made of solar cells, along with glass or plastic and dye molecules that serve to concentrate the light - is that the dyes are organic and don't hold up over time, Kelley explained. Another challenge is that when sunlight bounces around in the plastic, a lot of it gets reabsorbed into the dye molecules and ends up emitted as heat. That energy never makes it to the solar cell.

Kelley, along with professors Valerie Leppert and Boaz Ilan, will attempt to develop new kinds of luminescent solar concentrators, based on nanotechnology. They will develop semiconductor nanorods to use in solar concentrators, replacing organic dyes. The semiconductor nanorods are cylindrical sections of semiconductors, about 1/1000 the diameter of a human hair.

"Our research will develop the physics to understand how these semiconductors can get rid of the problems of self-absorption," Kelley said. "This has the potential to be a transformative technology in solar energy research."

Leppert, an associate professor in the School of Engineering, will use state-of-the-art equipment — such as electron microscopes at UC Merced and at the National Center for Electron Microscopy — to examine the synthetic materials' properties and whether they can be optimally used in a solar concentrator.

Using information provided by Kelley and Leppert, School of Natural Sciences assistant professor Ilan, will use mathematic models to theorize how the solar concentrators will perform with the nanorods.

"The hope is that over the three years, we will be able to develop a semiconductor that will do what we want it to do," Kelley said, "or, we'll have a more clear understanding of why we can't."

Professors Kelley and Ilan are both members of the UC Merced Energy Research Institute (UCMERI). UCMERI is a multidisciplinary institute that develops new and improved renewable and sustainable energy generation and storage technologies.

####

About UC Merced
UCMERI's faculty members include mechanical engineers, materials scientists, physicists, environmental engineers, biochemists, computer scientists and social scientists from the Schools of Engineering, Natural Sciences and Social Sciences, Humanities and Arts.

UCMERI's mission also includes setting the standard for institutional energy efficiency, examining domestic and global energy policy and educating the next generation of energy scholars and practitioners.

For more information, please click here

Copyright © UC Merced

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.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related News Press

News and information

Thin films offer promise for ferroelectric devices: Researchers at Tokyo Institute of Technology demystify the ferroelectric properties observed in hafnium-oxide-based thin films, revealing a potentially useful device material August 3rd, 2015

Harris & Harris Group Portfolio Company, HZO, Announces Partnerships with Dell and Motorola August 1st, 2015

Advances and Applications in Biosensing, Sensor Power, and Sensor R&D to be Covered at Sensors Global Summit August 1st, 2015

Kalam: versatility personified August 1st, 2015

Govt.-Legislation/Regulation/Funding/Policy

Self-assembling, biomimetic membranes may aid water filtration August 1st, 2015

Kalam: versatility personified August 1st, 2015

Heating and cooling with light leads to ultrafast DNA diagnostics July 31st, 2015

Theoretical Physicists at Freie Universität Berlin Develop New Insights into Interface between Classical and Quantum Worlds July 31st, 2015

Announcements

Thin films offer promise for ferroelectric devices: Researchers at Tokyo Institute of Technology demystify the ferroelectric properties observed in hafnium-oxide-based thin films, revealing a potentially useful device material August 3rd, 2015

Transparent, electrically conductive network of encapsulated silver nanowires: A novel electrode for optoelectronics August 1st, 2015

Harris & Harris Group Portfolio Company, HZO, Announces Partnerships with Dell and Motorola August 1st, 2015

Advances and Applications in Biosensing, Sensor Power, and Sensor R&D to be Covered at Sensors Global Summit August 1st, 2015

Energy

Transparent, electrically conductive network of encapsulated silver nanowires: A novel electrode for optoelectronics August 1st, 2015

Springer and Tsinghua University Press present the second Nano Research Award: Paul Alivisatos of the University of California Berkeley receives the honor for outstanding contributions in nanoscience July 30th, 2015

Controlling Dynamic Behavior of Carbon Nanosheets in Structures Made Possible July 30th, 2015

March 2016; 6th Int'l Conference on Nanostructures in Iran July 29th, 2015

Grants/Awards/Scholarships/Gifts/Contests/Honors/Records

Heating and cooling with light leads to ultrafast DNA diagnostics July 31st, 2015

Springer and Tsinghua University Press present the second Nano Research Award: Paul Alivisatos of the University of California Berkeley receives the honor for outstanding contributions in nanoscience July 30th, 2015

European Technology Platform for Nanomedicine and ENATRANS European Consortium Launch the 2nd edition of the Nanomedicine Award: The Award to be presented at BIO-Europe conference in Munich, November 2015 July 30th, 2015

Publication on Atomic Force Microscopy based nanoscale IR Spectroscopy (AFM-IR) persists as a 2015 top downloaded paper July 29th, 2015

Solar/Photovoltaic

Transparent, electrically conductive network of encapsulated silver nanowires: A novel electrode for optoelectronics August 1st, 2015

Springer and Tsinghua University Press present the second Nano Research Award: Paul Alivisatos of the University of California Berkeley receives the honor for outstanding contributions in nanoscience July 30th, 2015

Reshaping the solar spectrum to turn light to electricity: UC Riverside researchers find a way to use the infrared region of the sun's spectrum to make solar cells more efficient July 27th, 2015

Rice University finding could lead to cheap, efficient metal-based solar cells: Plasmonics study suggests how to maximize production of 'hot electrons' July 22nd, 2015

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE



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











ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project