The Kent R. van Horn Lectureship is an endowed Lectureship at the Case Western Reserve University and dates from 1974. It honours Kent R. van Horn, an alum, who had a distinguished career as a metallurgist, director of research, and ultimately corporate vice-president of Alcoa. Three lectures on varied topics are to be delivered over three successive days. The 2018 lectures were delivered by Professor Harry A. Atwater of the California Institute of Technology.
These videos are reproduced courtesy of the Materials Science and Engineering Department of Case Western Reserve University and with the permission of Professor Harry A. Atwater.http://engineering.case.edu...
2018 Van Horn Distinguished Lectures: part 1
Research in nanophotonic materials and design is yielding advances that are opening conceptually new paths to address “grand challenges” that have not previously been achievable. One of these is the challenge of bringing next-generation solar energy technology to fruition. The recent rapid, global growth of solar photovoltaics has moved scientific research frontiers for solar energy conversion towards new opportunities such as i) ultrahigh efficiency (η = 30-50% and beyond) photovoltaics and ii) direct synthesis of energy-dense chemical fuels from solar energy, including hydrogen and products from reduction of carbon dioxide. I will illustrate several examples of how photonic design combined with material synthesis advances can enable progress in each of these areas. Photonic design with highly luminescent semiconductors has opened new directions for ultrahigh efficiency photovoltaics.
Semiconductors coupled to water oxidation and reduction catalysts have enabled approaches to stable, greater than 10% efficiency solar-to-hydrogen generation using artificial photosynthetic structures. Present work and future directions in electrocatalytic and photocatalytic materials for artificial photosynthesis aimed at catalytic reduction of carbon dioxide will also be discussed.