Resnick Institute


Cars logo

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

4:00 PM
Beckman Institute Auditorium Caltech campus

The William & Myrtle Harris Seminar in Science & Civilization: Cars & Civilization

Cars symbolize human mobility. Four basic instincts from the evolutionary story of humanity determine mobility across all modes from walking to jet travel. These instincts allow us to make sense of, and model the complex use that humans make of systems of transport. The speakers will interpret the world of movement and the geography that forms its substrate, with particular reference to past and future transport systems. They will also discuss the potential for a transport system emitting zero pollutants and little noise that permits a range of hundreds of kilometers daily in a system of “green” mobility and comfort.

Presenters: Nebojsa Nakicenovic, Professor of Energy Economics at the Vienna University of Technology, Deputy Director and Deputy CEO of the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis –And Jesse H. Ausubel, Director of the Program for the Human Environment at The Rockefeller University, adjunct scientist of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, and member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Flow logo

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

5:45 PM to 8:30 PM
The Athenaeum (551 S. Hill Ave) Caltech campus

FloW Regional Awards

You are cordially invited to attend the Regional Awards of the FloW Cleantech Business Plan Competition

Join us for a glimpse into the future of clean energy, as 15 contenders from 60+ student teams from more than 20 universities and 13 states compete for cash prizes and the chance to compete in Washington, D.C. at the DOE’s National Clean Energy Business Plan Competition.

Don’t miss the opportunity to network with dozens of investors and technologists while learning about disruptive energy technologies from the young talent developing them.

Your attendance supports FLoW’s mission to foster student entrepreneurship and accelerate the next generation of cleantech innovation.

For more information, or to RSVP by April 25, please contact: Stephanie C. Yanchinski, Executive Director, FLoW

Giacomo Mariani

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

4:00 PM
Spalding Laboratory 106 Caltech campus

Advanced Semiconductor Devices: From Nanotechnology-based Photovoltaics to Infrared Thermal Sensing

A Materials Research Lecture By Dr. Giacomo Mariani, Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Modern semiconductor electronics has enabled the development of several novel functionalities in medicine, transport, energy, or sensing. One key functionality is represented by converting and sensing electromagnetic radiation: from efficient solar energy conversion to accurate radiometry in planetary missions.

In the first part of the talk, solar radiation is converted into electricity. Nanotechnology-based photovoltaics represents a viable route to reduce the amount of semiconductor material utilized to achieve high conversion efficiency at a lower dollar/watt figure. Dome-shaped nanolenses [1] atop radial nanopillar junctions can maximize the photon coupling compared to planar architectures with experimental power conversion efficiencies above 10%. Ex-situ and in-situ surface passivations are also compared to alleviate the recombination effects caused by dangling bonds at the junction [2].

In the second part of the talk, infrared radiation is sensed via thermopile technology. Thermopile detectors are based on the Seebeck effect: at the junction of two dissimilar conductors a voltage can be generated by a change in temperature. Thermopile arrays do not require electrical bias, and generate a voltage output linearly proportional to the input radiation signal. Typically they are uncooled and insensitive to substrate temperature variations, relaxing constraints on temperature stabilization. Efforts at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory [3] advanced this technology to a point that it was recently exploited for global thermal profiling of the martian atmosphere and lunar surface.

[1] G. Mariani, Z. Zhou, A. Scofield, and D. L. Huffaker, Epitaxial GaAs core-multishell nanopillars photovoltaics featuring subwavelength optical concentrators, Nano Letters 13 (4), pp. 1632–1637, 2013.

[2] G. Mariani, A. Scofield, C.-H. Hung, and D. L. Huffaker, GaAs nanopillars-array solar cells employing in situ surface passivation, Nature Communications 4, p. 1497, 2013.

[3] M. Foote, M. Kenyon, T. Krueger, T. J. Schofield, D. J. McCleese, T. A. McCann, E. W. Jones, S. L. Soll, M. R. Dickie, S. Gaalema, W. Hu, Linear and 2-D thermopile detector arrays using high-Z thermoelectric materials, Proceedings ICT 2002.

Giacomo Mariani is currently a Caltech Postdoctoral Scholar at Jet Propulsion Laboratory working on uncooled thermopile detector arrays. He received his PhD degree from the Electrical Engineering Department at UCLA. His research interests are focused in advanced optoelectronic devices to investigate light-matter interactions (e.g. energy harvesting, detection). He earned his B.S. and M.S. degree in Electrical Engineering from University of Bologna, in 2006 and 2008, respectively.