Department of Applied Physics and Materials Science - Applied Physics

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Highlights

Energy Innovation Hub

07-22-10

A $122 million Energy Innovation Hub, aimed at developing revolutionary methods to generate fuels directly from sunlight, is to be directed by Nate Lewis, George L. Argyros Professor of Chemistry. The leadership team also includes Harry A. Atwater, Jr., Howard Hughes Professor and Professor of Applied Physics and Materials Science, and Director of the Resnick Institute; and Bruce S. Brunschwig, Director of the Beckman Institute Molecular Materials Resource Center. The Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis (JCAP) will be located in two California-based sites, operated under a unified management structure. The Southern California site is on the Caltech campus, and the Northern California site is at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in Berkeley. [Caltech Press Release]

Tags: energy Harry Atwater Nate Lewis Bruce Brunschwig

Novel Negative-Index Metamaterial that Responds to Visible Light

04-23-10

Stanley Burgos, researcher at the Light-Material Interactions in Energy Conversion Energy Frontier Research Center, Harry A. Atwater, Jr., Howard Hughes Professor and Professor of Applied Physics and Materials Science, and colleagues have engineered a novel negative-index metamaterial that responds to visible light. This material bends light in the "wrong" direction from what normally would be expected, irrespective of the angle of the approaching light. [Caltech Press Release]

Tags: APhMS energy research highlights Harry Atwater Stanley Burgos

Harry Atwater Awarded Fred Kavli Distinguished Lectureship in Nanoscience

04-15-10

Harry A. Atwater, Jr., Howard Hughes Professor and Professor of Applied Physics and Materials Science, has been awarded the Fred Kavli Distinguished Lectureship in Nanoscience by the Materials Research Society. His lecture was entitled "Bending Light to Our Will: Nanophotonic Structures for Terawatt-Scale Solar Energy Conversion." [MRS Article]

Tags: APhMS honors energy Harry Atwater

Leon Liu Named a Gates Cambridge Scholar

04-09-10

Congratulations to Senior Leon Liu who has been named a Gates Cambridge Scholar. His option of study is Applied Physics and he is investigating strategies to decrease the cost of solar cells.

Tags: APhMS energy Leon Liu

Harry Atwater and Colleagues Create Highly Absorbing, Flexible Solar Cells with Silicon Wire Arrays

02-23-10

Harry A. Atwater, Jr., Howard Hughes Professor and Professor of Applied Physics and Materials Science, and his colleagues have created highly absorbing, flexible solar cells with silicon wire arrays. "These solar cells have, for the first time, surpassed the conventional light-trapping limit for absorbing materials," says Professor Atwater. Furthermore this new type of flexible solar cell uses only a fraction of the expensive semiconductor materials required by conventional solar cells. [Caltech Press Release]

Tags: APhMS energy Harry Atwater

Harry Atwater and Nathan Lewis Lead New Solar-research Collaboration

11-12-09

Harry A. Atwater, Jr., Howard Hughes Professor and Professor of Applied Physics and Materials Science, and Nathan S. Lewis, George L. Argyros Professor and Professor of Chemistry, are leading a new solar-research collaboration between Caltech and Dow Chemical Company aimed at developing the use of semiconductor materials that are less expensive and more abundant than those used in many of today's solar cells. In addition, they announced the creation of the Dow Chemical Company Graduate Fellowship in Chemical Sciences and Engineering. [Caltech Press Release]

Tags: APhMS energy research highlights Harry Atwater

Kerry Vahala and Colleagues Create First-ever Phonon Laser

09-01-09

Kerry Vahala, Ted and Ginger Jenkins Professor of Information Science and Technology and Professor of Applied Physics; Director, The Lee Center for Advanced Networking along with colleagues at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics have created the first-ever phonon laser--a device that amplifies phonons in much the way that optical lasers amplify photons of light. [View Article]

Tags: APhMS energy research highlights Kerry Vahala

DOE Names Harry Atwater as Director of EFRC Focusing on Light-Material Interactions

05-11-09

DOE Names Harry Atwater as Director of EFRC Focusing on Light-Material Interactions. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science has announced that it will fund the creation of 46 Energy Frontier Research Centers (EFRCs) over the next five years, including one that will be housed at Caltech. That $15 million EFRC will be headed by Harry Atwater, the Howard Hughes Professor and professor of applied physics and materials science.

Tags: APhMS energy Harry Atwater

NSF Awards Sossina Haile ACI Fellowship

09-23-08

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded an American Competitiveness and Innovation (ACI) Fellowship to Sossina M. Haile, Professor of Materials Science and Chemical Engineering, "for her timely and transformative research in the energy field and her dedication to inclusive mentoring, education and outreach across many levels." This recognition program honors current NSF grantees who have demonstrated a combination of transformative research accomplishments and outstanding contributions toward education, mentoring, and broadening participation of women, underrepresented minorities, and people with disabilities.

Tags: APhMS honors energy research highlights Sossina Haile

 
Jeff Snyder and Colleagues Invent New Material that Will Make Cars More Efficient

07-25-08

Caltech Faculty Associate Jeff Snyder and colleagues have invented a new material that will make cars even more efficient by converting heat lost through engine exhaust into electricity. In a paper published July 25 in the journal Science, the scientists describe the unique thermoelectric material, which has twice the efficiency other such materials currently on the market, and works most effectively in the temperature range typical of automobile engines. The same technology could also work in power generators and heat pumps. Read more at www.sciencemag.org.

Tags: APhMS energy research highlights Jeff Snyder