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Bending light to our will

Atwater, Harry (2011) Bending light to our will. MRS Bulletin, 36 (1). pp. 57-62. ISSN 0883-7694. https://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:20110816-134840864

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Abstract

This article is based on the Fred Kavli Distinguished Lectureship in Nanoscience presentation given by Harry Atwater (California Institute of Technology) on April 5, 2010 at the Materials Research Society Spring Meeting in San Francisco, CA. The Kavli Foundation supports scientific research, honors scientific achievement, and promotes public understanding of scientists and their work. Its particular focuses are astrophysics, nanoscience, and neuroscience. Solar energy is currently enjoying substantial growth and investment, owing to worldwide sensitivity to energy security and climate change. Solar energy is an inexhaustible resource and is in abundant supply on all continents of the world. The power density of sunlight (~1000 W/m 2 ) and the effi ciency of photovoltaic devices (~10–25%) are high enough so that land use does not limit photovoltaic deployment at the terawatt scale. However solar photovoltaics are currently too expensive to achieve parity with other forms of electricity generation based on fossil fuels. This is largely due to the cost (and for some cases, the abundance) of materials used in photovoltaic modules and systems, and the cost of deploying in current form. This economic and social context has created the present situation where there is widespread interest in photovoltaic technology for power generation, but the cumulative installed world capacity for photovoltaics is <50 GW, and it appears to be very challenging for photovoltaics to play a very substantial role in large-scale (terawatt) electricity generation in the short term.


Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
http://dx.doi.org/10.1557/mrs.2010.7 DOIArticle
http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayAbstract?fromPage=online&aid=7967018PublisherArticle
ORCID:
AuthorORCID
Atwater, Harry0000-0001-9435-0201
Additional Information:© 2011 Materials Research Society. Published online by Cambridge University Press: 17 January 2011.
Issue or Number:1
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20110816-134840864
Persistent URL:https://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:20110816-134840864
Official Citation:Harry Atwater (2011). Bending light to our will. MRS Bulletin, 36, pp 57-62 doi:10.1557/mrs.2010.7
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:24893
Collection:CaltechAUTHORS
Deposited By: Jason Perez
Deposited On:16 Aug 2011 22:15
Last Modified:03 Oct 2019 03:00

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