Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors

Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

Home > Press > Optofluidics could change energy field, say engineers

Cellana
A bioreactor with an open pond like this one, which uses photosynthesis to make fuels, could be improved with the use of optofluidic technologies.
Cellana
A bioreactor with an open pond like this one, which uses photosynthesis to make fuels, could be improved with the use of optofluidic technologies.

Abstract:
The ability to manipulate light and fluids on a single chip, broadly called "optofluidics," has led to such technologies as liquid-crystal displays and liquid-filled optical fibers for fast data transfer. Optofluidics is now also on the cusp of improving such green technologies as solar-powered bioreactors, say Cornell researchers.

Optofluidics could change energy field, say engineers

Ithaca, NY | Posted on September 12th, 2011

The biggest challenge, says Cornell's David Erickson, associate professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering, is how to upscale optofluidic chips, which are built at nanometer scales, to deliver enough energy to make a difference. These challenges and opportunities are detailed in a Nature Photonics Review article by Erickson and two colleagues, published online Sept. 11.

"Over the last five years or so, we have developed many new technologies to precisely deliver light and fluids and biology to the same place at the same time," Erickson said. "It's these new tools that we want to apply to the area of energy."

For example, photobioreactors are large-scale systems that use microorganisms such as algae or cyanobacteria, to convert light and carbon dioxide into hydrocarbon fuels. Photobioreactors employ photosynthesis for energy conversion, and Erickson envisions using an optofluidic chip to optimize how light and chemicals are distributed in the reactor.

In such systems as open-air ponds that harvest algae and collect sunlight, the light is scattered haphazardly, and the top layer gets more exposure. Optofluidic technologies, such as plasmonic nanoparticles or photonic waveguides, could more directly target the microorganisms and lead to greater energy output.

Similarly, the paper also describes how optofluidic devices could be used to improve photocatalytic systems, in which light energy splits water into the components hydrogen and oxygen, or converts carbon dioxide and water into hydrocarbon fuels. Other applications include optofluidic chips in solar collectors.

Erickson authored the review with Demetri Psaltis of Ecole Polytechnique Federal Lausanne, Switzerland, and David Sinton of the University of Toronto. His research is supported by the Academic Venture Fund of Cornell's Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future and the National Science Foundation. Erickson is also a member of the Kavli Institute at Cornell for Nanoscale Science.

####

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Media Contact:
Blaine Friedlander
(607) 254-8093


Cornell Chronicle:
Anne Ju
(607) 255-9735

Copyright © Cornell University

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

Seeing the quantum future... literally: What if big data could help you see the future and prevent your mobile phone from breaking before it happened? January 16th, 2017

NUS researchers achieve major breakthrough in flexible electronics: New classes of printable electrically conducting polymer materials make better electrodes for plastic electronics and advanced semiconductor devices January 14th, 2017

Manchester scientists tie the tightest knot ever achieved January 13th, 2017

Nanoscale Modifications can be used to Engineer Electrical Contacts for Nanodevices January 13th, 2017

Microfluidics/Nanofluidics

Zeroing in on the true nature of fluids within nanocapillaries: While exploring the behavior of fluids at the nanoscale, a group of researchers at the French National Center for Scientific Research discovered a peculiar state of fluid mixtures contained in microscopic channels January 11th, 2017

Fabrication of a Miniature Paper-Based Electroosmotic Actuator November 29th, 2016

Researchers use acoustic waves to move fluids at the nanoscale November 15th, 2016

Researchers use temperature to control droplet movement: Method for moving fluids on a surface may find uses in condensers, microfluidics, and de-icing October 14th, 2016

Govt.-Legislation/Regulation/Funding/Policy

Chemistry on the edge: Experiments at Berkeley Lab confirm that structural defects at the periphery are key in catalyst function January 13th, 2017

Recreating conditions inside stars with compact lasers: Scientists offer a new path to creating the extreme conditions found in stars, using ultra-short laser pulses irradiating nanowires January 12th, 2017

Deciphering the beetle exoskeleton with nanomechanics: Understanding exoskeletons could lead to new, improved artificial materials January 12th, 2017

New laser based on unusual physics phenomenon could improve telecommunications, computing January 12th, 2017

Discoveries

Seeing the quantum future... literally: What if big data could help you see the future and prevent your mobile phone from breaking before it happened? January 16th, 2017

NUS researchers achieve major breakthrough in flexible electronics: New classes of printable electrically conducting polymer materials make better electrodes for plastic electronics and advanced semiconductor devices January 14th, 2017

Manchester scientists tie the tightest knot ever achieved January 13th, 2017

Nanoscale Modifications can be used to Engineer Electrical Contacts for Nanodevices January 13th, 2017

Announcements

Seeing the quantum future... literally: What if big data could help you see the future and prevent your mobile phone from breaking before it happened? January 16th, 2017

NUS researchers achieve major breakthrough in flexible electronics: New classes of printable electrically conducting polymer materials make better electrodes for plastic electronics and advanced semiconductor devices January 14th, 2017

Manchester scientists tie the tightest knot ever achieved January 13th, 2017

Nanoscale Modifications can be used to Engineer Electrical Contacts for Nanodevices January 13th, 2017

Energy

Stability challenge in perovskite solar cell technology: New research reveals intrinsic instability issues of iodine-containing perovskite solar cells December 26th, 2016

Nanoscale 'conversations' create complex, multi-layered structures: New technique leverages controlled interactions across surfaces to create self-assembled materials with unprecedented complexity December 22nd, 2016

Safe and inexpensive hydrogen production as a future energy source: Osaka University researchers develop efficient 'green' hydrogen production system that operates at room temperature in air December 21st, 2016

Going green with nanotechnology December 21st, 2016

Photonics/Optics/Lasers

Recreating conditions inside stars with compact lasers: Scientists offer a new path to creating the extreme conditions found in stars, using ultra-short laser pulses irradiating nanowires January 12th, 2017

New laser based on unusual physics phenomenon could improve telecommunications, computing January 12th, 2017

Researcher's discovery of new crystal structure holds promise for optoelectronic devices January 6th, 2017

The researchers created a tiny laser using nanoparticles January 5th, 2017

Solar/Photovoltaic

Stability challenge in perovskite solar cell technology: New research reveals intrinsic instability issues of iodine-containing perovskite solar cells December 26th, 2016

Going green with nanotechnology December 21st, 2016

Research Study: MetaSOLTM Shatters Solar Panel Efficiency Forecasts with Innovative New Coating: Coating Provides 1.2 Percent Absolute Enhancement to Triple Junction Solar Cells December 2nd, 2016

Throwing new light on printed organic solar cells December 1st, 2016

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