Thursday, March 4, 2010

Background in Plasmonics

Nano-photonics is a field of science and technology that aims to manipulate light with equally miniscule structures in the same way that computer chips are used to route and switch electrical signals. Advanced computer simulations can now accurately describe the behavior of light as it interacts with such nanoscale structures that are more than a 1000 times smaller than a human hair or the glass telecom fibers that currently enable communication between people and computers anywhere in the world. Until recently it was a generally held belief that manipulation of light was limited to the relatively large wavelength scale of about 1 micrometer (0.001 millimeter) by the fundamental laws of diffraction. However, recent developments in the rapidly developing field of plasmonics have demonstrated that light can be controlled at much smaller length-scales (well below the wavelength or diffraction limit of light) by using metallic nanostructures. These metal structures are called plasmonic components.

The fact that light interacts strongly with metals has been observed for a very long time. The rich colors of stained glass windows and ancient glass artifacts result from the unique way light behaves when it encounters the minute metal structures in the glass; it generates little oscillation electrical currents inside the metal, known as plasmons (hence the name plasmonics). Only in the last two decades, have scientists obtained a deep understanding of the optical behavior of metal nanostructures and are able to use this knowledge to engineer unique metal particle shapes and arrays to attain a desired optical response.

It is important to understand that the concept of “light” is merely our perception of the visible portion of the electromagnetic spectrum. Humans perceive light as a wide range of colors (wavelengths) that can be produced by absorption, reflection, and scattering as light passes through different media (i.e. air, water, glass, semiconductors and metals). Similarly we recognize that there are non-visible portions of electromagnetic spectrum that we can feel as heat from the sun and use for radio communications or microwave ovens. In microwave and radio frequency (RF) technology antennas play a key role in efficiently transmitting and receiving electromagnetic signals. Modern-day life would be unthinkable without them as they are used in a large diversity of systems, including radio and television broadcasting, the Internet, mobile-phone communication, the wireless card in your computer and space exploration. The operation of antennas relies on the ability of an electromagnetic wave to resonantly oscillate currents in a metallic wire (or vice versa). This fact was understood and demonstrated by early radio pioneers Tesla and Marconi. Currently, the same basic antenna operation can be used to concentrate and trap light in solar cells or enable more light to escape from light sources. Since the wavelength (color) of light is much smaller than radio waves, correspondingly smaller antennas are needed to boost the efficiency of such solar cells and sources.

Our technology shows enormous potential to change the current design and operation of many devices via a simple TCO+ coating. This coating uses both the excellent electrical as well as the powerful optical properties of metals for the first time to enable simultaneous electrical current extraction and light concentration.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Design of Plasmonic Thin-Film Solar Cells with Broadband Absorption Enhancements

Please see this link for Mark Brongersma's recent Plasmonic Solar Cell design paper in Advanced Materials.

BSX Management Team

Current management:

Anthony Defries - Chief Executive Officer/Co-Inventor
Defries is an entrepreneur and scientist with over forty years business experience in media, technology and intellectual property management.

Mark L Brongersma, Ph.D. - Co-Inventor (2005-2010)
Brongersma is a Professor of Materials Science and Engineering at Stanford University and a recognized leader in nanophotonics and plasmonics. He earned a M.S. in Physics at Eindhoven University of Technology and a Ph.D. in Materials Science at the FOM Institute. Brongersma was a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the California Institute of Technology.

Seven years in Senior Management positions at major optoelectronics company including CTO of Optical Communications. Successfully formed and solar several start-up companies. Ph.D. and B.Eng degrees.

Lauren Andrews – Vice President, Business Development
Andrews previously worked at The Royal Bank of Scotland and El Paso Corporation in finance. She holds a BBA in Finance and MA in Communications from the University of Texas.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Introducing Broadband Solar

About us:
Broadband Solar Inc. (BSX) is a California based US corporation formed in 2008 to develop energy efficiency enhancement technology. We design and engineer metallic nanostructures to significantly improve performance of solar, glass and display devices. BSX seek to become the first company in the world to offer a true manufacture scale process that can be tailored for a range of applications.

Plasmonics, an exploding field of nanoscience, allows BSX to use metallic nanostructures to capture and utilize light over the entire broadband spectrum to optimize optical and electrical functions in various devices.

Transparent conductive oxide films (TCO) provide or manage critical optical/electrical functions for essential products in may major market sectors including display, low-e glass and solar. Our technology incorporates plasmonics in TCO to create TCO+. TCO+ can add new or improved features to products for significant performance improvements and cost reductions. TCO+ can replace conventional TCO layers in thin film solar cells (a-Si, C-Si, CIGS, CdTe) and many other devices.

Plasmonic scattering has already been proven in the lab and in commercial facilities on a range of devices and has the potential to increase device performance by providing a means of passive control of the incident wavelength spectrum