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Proceedings Paper

Future solar energy devices
Author(s): Mihaela Girtan
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Paper Abstract

This article draws a parallel between the development of electronics and the rise of photonics. Two technologies whose components are based on the same raw material: sand, which is used both to produce glass used in almost optics components and silicon for all integrated electronics devices. The analogy does not end there: carriers, information vectors, transport cables, generators ... photonic reach gradually all the basic elements that made the success of electronics. The last missing element was the transistor, which is at the heart of electronics but, the first optical transistor was realized in 2009. Beside inorganic materials, the new research attainments show that organic materials or carbon based materials like graphene could be also successfully use for electronics and photonics. Hence, the new trends in physics and technology are the plastic electronics and plastic photonics and carbon will replace maybe in the future the silicon technology. Today we transform the solar energy in electricity energy because most of the devices that we use are based on. Withal, the progress in photonics integrated circuits shows that the photonics informatics could be one day possible too. The progress in photonics provides the opportunity to replace the electron flow, for transmission and computing, with a photonic flow or a plasmonic flow; harnessing the interaction between the surface electrons of nanostructured circuits and photons and in the future maybe the light will replace electricity to run our computers. The optical manipulation and optical engines concept were also already demonstrated experimentally. If the laser propulsion will be achieved, and the optical engines will work, the next questions that could rise are “It will be still necessary to transform the solar energy in electricity?” or, “Will be possible to use directly solar energy by creating new devices runs by photons or plasmons and not by electrons?”

Paper Details

Date Published: 17 May 2018
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 10683, Fiber Lasers and Glass Photonics: Materials through Applications, 106831Z (17 May 2018); doi: 10.1117/12.2303969
Show Author Affiliations
Mihaela Girtan, Univ. d'Angers (France)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 10683:
Fiber Lasers and Glass Photonics: Materials through Applications
Stefano Taccheo; Jacob I. Mackenzie; Maurizio Ferrari, Editor(s)

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