NSI White Paper: Nanotechnology for Solar Energy Collection and Conversion

Subject Area:
NNI Publications and Reports
Author: NSTC Commitee on Technology, Subcommitee of Nanoscale Science, Engineering, and Technology (NSET)
Publication Date: Jul. 1 2010

Description:

This white paper details the Nanotechnology Signature Initiative on Solar Energy Collection and Conversion.

Participating agencies include: DOE, NIST, NSF, DOD, IC, and USDA/NIFA.

Click here to view the NSI Solar page.


Nanotechnology Fact

Nanotechnology is used in many commercial products and processes, for example, nanomaterials are used to manufacture lightweight, strong materials for applications such as boat hulls, sporting equipment, and automotive parts. Nanomaterials are also used in sunscreens and cosmetics.

Nanostructured products are used to produce space-saving insulators which are useful when size and weight is at a premium—for example, when insulating long pipelines in remote places, or trying to reduce heat loss from an old house. Nanostructured catalysts make chemical manufacturing processes more efficient, by saving energy and reducing waste.

In healthcare, nanoceramics are used in some dental implants or to fill holes in diseased bones, because their mechanical and chemical properties can be “tuned” to attract bone cells from the surrounding tissue to make new bone. Some pharmaceutical products have been reformulated with nanosized particles to improve their absorption and make them easier to administer. Opticians apply nanocoatings to eyeglasses to make them easier to keep clean and harder to scratch and nanoenabled coatings are used on fabrics to make clothing stain-resistant and easy to care for.

Almost all high-performance electronic devices manufactured in the past decade use some nanomaterials. Nanotechnology helps build new transistor structures and interconnects for the fastest, most advanced computing chips.

For more information, see Benefits and Applications.

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