12 Mar '12, 2pm

Catching Some Rays — Lots of Them

Catching Some Rays — Lots of Them

Nicholas X. Fang, the Brit (1961) and Alex (1949) d’Arbeloff Career Development Associate Professor in Engineering Design in MIT’s Department of Mechanical Engineering, says that most thin materials used to fully capture light are limited to a very narrow range of wavelengths and angles of incidence. The new design uses a pattern of wedge-shaped ridges whose widths are precisely tuned to slow and capture light of a wide range of wavelengths and angles of incidence. These metamaterials can be extremely thin, saving weight and cost. Fang compares the tapered structures to the cochlea of the inner ear, which responds to different frequencies of sound at different points along its narrowing structure. “Our ears separate different frequencies and gather them at different depths,” he says; similarly, the metamaterial wedges harvest photons at different depths. The actual structu...

Full article: http://www.renewableenergyworld.com/rea/news/article/2012...

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