Nanoparticles provide versatile functionalities in advanced technologies and industries. Design of varying sizes, shapes and materials gives desired optical performance, such as strong directional scattering, strong resonance for certain wavelength bands, etc. They find many applications in metrology, medical and sustainable energy (NP for enhanced light in-coupling for solar cells). Besides the optical functionality, due to the light-matter interaction there is the often unwanted and ignored thermal gain in the NPs. However for our research, this photothermal effect is beneficial and plays a key role in sustainable energy conversion systems. In a program we utilize nanoparticle catalyst in the conversion of CO2 to C1 chemicals and fuels, driven by sunlight as energy source. The NPs of very small size (a few nanometers) are excellent light absorber and efficiently generate heat. Using NPs we have observed enhanced and accelerated reaction rate under light stimuli as compared to the dark reaction conditions.
- Photothermal effect by nanoparticles
- Using sunlight as source for sustainable energy generation and conversion.
- Develop theoretical model for NP photothermal effect. The multiphysics model combines optics and thermal dynamics theorems.
- Optical metrology for near field inspection
Models and equipment:
- Multiphysics photothermal model
- Near-field thermal electromagnetics radiation model
- Nearfield IR spectroscopy
- Fiber optic temperature sensor