Researchers from the University of Pennsylvania have demonstrated a new way for extracting energy from light, a finding that could improve technologies for generating electricity from solar energy and lead to more efficient optoelectronic devices used in communications.
Its exciting if this is a process that is much more efficient than conventional potoconduction
The new work centers on plasmonic nanostructures, specifically, materials fabricated from gold particles and light-sensitive molecules of porphyin, of precise sizes and arranged in specific patterns.
Plasmons, or a collective oscillation of electrons, can be excited in these systems by optical radiation and induce an electrical current that can move in a pattern determined by the size and layout of the gold particles, as well as the electrical properties of the surrounding environment.
In some cases they designed the material, an array of gold nanoparticles, using a technique Bonnell’s group invented, known as ferroelectric nanolithography.