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Taking Advantage of (Plasmonic) Loss
20 May, 2018 | Optics and Photonics NewsFull Text External Link Indicator
“For decades, plasmonics—the confinement of light energy at subwavelength scales at metal-dielectric interfaces—has tantalized engineers with the possibility of ultraminiaturized devices for applications ranging from information technology to sensing. But plasmonics has an Achilles’ heel: the tiny metal structures essential for plasmonic photon-electron interactions inevitably lead to absorption and ohmic losses of optical energy. That’s made it tricky to design efficient, practical devices leveraging the ultra-compact length scales, field enhancement and rapid operation possible through plasmonic effects.” by Stewart Wills
3D Graphene: Solar Power's Next Platinum?
21 Aug, 2013 | Michigan Tech NewsFull Text External Link Indicator
"One of the most promising types of solar cells has a few drawbacks. A scientist at Michigan Technological University may have overcome one of them.

Dye-sensitized solar cells are thin, flexible, easy to make and very good at turning sunshine into electricity. However, a key ingredient is one of the most expensive metals on the planet: platinum. While only small amounts are needed, at $1,500 an ounce, the cost of the silvery metal is still significant.

Yun Hang Hu, the Charles and Caroll McArthur Professor of Materials Science and Engineering, has developed a new, inexpensive material that could replace the platinum in solar cells without degrading their efficiency: 3D graphene." Marcia Goodrich