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Rainbows on the Nanoscale

Category: Science & Technology
Posted: 07:05AM

The white light we are basked in every day is made up of every color in the visible spectrum, and nothing more beautifully demonstrates this than a rainbow. Devices such as monitors and solar panels also demonstrate this as the panels only absorb certain colors and monitors have use just a few colors to represent them all. Now researchers at King's College London have found a way to add rainbows to displays and solar panels in order to improve their abilities.

Instead of the traditional prism or diffraction grating to break light into its colors, the researchers have designed special nanostructures to trap the different colors wherever they wish. This allows the structures to reverse the order of the rainbow, which typically has red on the outside and blue on the inside. Also the researchers found the colors could be isolated to different sides of the nanostructure, instead of having them all on the same face.

This ability to separate and trap individual frequencies of light should be quite useful for increasing the viewing angles of a monitor and optimizing solar panels. Instead of having to manipulate the angle of the solar panel to give it the most time to absorb different frequencies, trapping the rainbow this way will allow the angle to remain fixed, without sacrificing efficiency.

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masterbinky on December 12, 2012 07:38AM
The way this makes it sound, you could have solar cells that are like pixels where the light coming into the trap is directed to receptors designed for that frequency. Why stack cells when you can just place them side by side and direct the proper frequency to them.
Guest comment
Angga on December 23, 2012 03:03AM
Switch to a 100% renewable engrey supplier all the benefit of solar panels without the expense all the obvious ones use engrey bulbs, only boil the amount of water you need, turn of lights when not in use, never leave electronics on standby, turn heating thermostats down a couple of degrees, wash at 30 instead of 40, fit a water saving device to you toilet (commonly know as a brick!!) to reduce water used for flushing, recycle and compost, use biodegradable rubbish sacks when you do throw anything out, reuse carrier bags or switch to fabric ones.Also switch some of your household products for natural or green alternatives.If at all possible use your car less walk, cycle car share etc. Where not possible offset your carbon emissions by using a green car insurance company these companies calculate your carbon emissions based on your annual mileage car size etc and then offset this with woodland projects.

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