Short news science – Delta 8

Photon guide
A new nano waveguide dramatically increases the light yield from quantumdots. Because q-dots emit single photons in random directions, most of them never reach their destinations (mostly an optical fibre).

Only 1-2 percent do. But a waveguide developed by Professor Leo Kouwenhoven and Dr Val Zwiller, together with colleagues from FOM and TU/e, increases the efficiency to almost half of the photons (42 percent). The waveguide, with a 200 nm diameter, contains the q-dot in the middle and a gold mirror on the backside. The results were published in Nature Communications.

Nature Communications: doi:10.1038/ncomms1746

Solar cells

The section photovoltaic materials and devices (EEMCS faculty) received more than 750,000 euros, of which part of this sum (nearly 300,000 euros) is coming from the Foundation for Fundamental Research on Matter ( FOM). The researchers participate in the FOM program, Stirring of Light, which aims to optimize the absorption and processing of light waves in solar cells. From the European Union they received 460,000 euros to develop cells that are fine-tuned to absorb blue light.

Revolt house

The plan to build the spectacular ‘Revolt’ house – a two-person round floating home that is energetically self-sufficient and revolves with the sun – has been abandoned, because of lack of funding. The design was a collaborative effort of dozens of students. The Revolt House was the Delft entry for the Solar Decathlon 2012, a worldwide university competition for designing self-sustaining, solar-powered homes.

Water prize

Biotechnologist Professor Mark van Loosdrecht (AS faculty) has won the Lee Kuan Yew Water Prize for 2012. He will receive the award during the Singapore International Water Week in July. Van Loosdrecht has secured the prize primarily for his work on an innovative biological wastewater purification process involving Anammox bacteria. These bacteria can convert ammonia into harmless nitrogen gas without the use of oxygen or other additives.

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