Nanoparticle physics for energy, lighting and environmental control technologies
- Publication Type:
- Journal Article
- Materials Forum, 2002, 26 pp. 20 - 28
- Issue Date:
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Performance of everyday systems such as windows, skylights, painted car panels, roofs and walls and lighting installations, can be improved markedly using nanoparticles, nanocoated micro-particles and nanocomposites. Additional functionality such as self cleaning and power generation is also possible. Properties and applications using polymer and conductor nano- and micro-particles, metal coated particles and nano-voids in metals are covered. Engineering of novel optical and thermal properties based on surface plasmons and surface plasmon polaritons is outlined. The diversity of responses and technical opportunities demands modelling. Empirical exploration by itself is time consuming and risky. Representing an inhomogeneous nanocomposite optically by an "effective" homogeneous medium is shown to be useful when correctly applied, but is seen to be prone to misuse. The current controversy about negative refractive index nanostructures is a recent example. Opportunities in solar cells, thermal-to-electric conversion and refrigeration, separation, energy storage and power management systems are outlined, along with new decorative and display options.
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