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

A nano-roundabout for light December 10th, 2016

Keeping electric car design on the right road: A closer look at the life-cycle impacts of lithium-ion batteries and proton exchange membrane fuel cells December 9th, 2016

Further improvement of qubit lifetime for quantum computers: New technique removes quasiparticles from superconducting quantum circuits December 9th, 2016

Scientists track chemical and structural evolution of catalytic nanoparticles in 3-D: Up-close, real-time, chemical-sensitive 3-D imaging offers clues for reducing cost/improving performance of catalysts for fuel-cell-powered vehicles and other applications December 8th, 2016

Microfluidics/Nanofluidics

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

Novel nanoscale detection of real-time DNA amplification holds promise for diagnostics: Research team led by Nagoya University develop a label-free method for detecting DNA amplification in real time based on refractive index changes in diffracted light September 12th, 2016

Govt.-Legislation/Regulation/Funding/Policy

Chemical trickery corrals 'hyperactive' metal-oxide cluster December 8th, 2016

Researchers peer into atom-sized tunnels in hunt for better battery: May improve lithium ion for larger devices, like cars December 8th, 2016

Scientists track chemical and structural evolution of catalytic nanoparticles in 3-D: Up-close, real-time, chemical-sensitive 3-D imaging offers clues for reducing cost/improving performance of catalysts for fuel-cell-powered vehicles and other applications December 8th, 2016

Exotic insulator may hold clue to key mystery of modern physics: Johns Hopkins-led research shows material living between classical and quantum worlds December 8th, 2016

Discoveries

A nano-roundabout for light December 10th, 2016

Keeping electric car design on the right road: A closer look at the life-cycle impacts of lithium-ion batteries and proton exchange membrane fuel cells December 9th, 2016

Further improvement of qubit lifetime for quantum computers: New technique removes quasiparticles from superconducting quantum circuits December 9th, 2016

Scientists track chemical and structural evolution of catalytic nanoparticles in 3-D: Up-close, real-time, chemical-sensitive 3-D imaging offers clues for reducing cost/improving performance of catalysts for fuel-cell-powered vehicles and other applications December 8th, 2016

Announcements

A nano-roundabout for light December 10th, 2016

Keeping electric car design on the right road: A closer look at the life-cycle impacts of lithium-ion batteries and proton exchange membrane fuel cells December 9th, 2016

Further improvement of qubit lifetime for quantum computers: New technique removes quasiparticles from superconducting quantum circuits December 9th, 2016

Chemical trickery corrals 'hyperactive' metal-oxide cluster December 8th, 2016

Energy

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

Deep insights from surface reactions: Researchers use Stampede supercomputer to study new chemical sensing methods, desalination and bacterial energy production December 2nd, 2016

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

Physics, photosynthesis and solar cells: Researchers combine quantum physics and photosynthesis to make discovery that could lead to highly efficient, green solar cells November 30th, 2016

Photonics/Optics/Lasers

A nano-roundabout for light December 10th, 2016

ANU invention to inspire new night-vision specs December 7th, 2016

Shape matters when light meets atom: Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices December 4th, 2016

Controlled electron pulses November 30th, 2016

Solar/Photovoltaic

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

Physics, photosynthesis and solar cells: Researchers combine quantum physics and photosynthesis to make discovery that could lead to highly efficient, green solar cells November 30th, 2016

'Back to the Future' inspires solar nanotech-powered clothing November 15th, 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