Levich Institute Seminar Announcement, 10/12/2010
Tuesday, 10/12/2010
2:00 PM
Steinman Hall, Room #312
(Chemical Engineering Conference Room)

Professor Radhakrishna Sureshkumar
Syracuse University
Department of Biomedical and Chemical Engineering

"Harnessing Light Using Nanomaterials: Implications for a Renewable Energy Future"


Sustainable production, storage and transportation of renewable energy are among the greatest challenges of the 21st century. Harnessing Sun's energy for powering our planet has long been a dream of scientists and engineers. Despite much progress, the efficiency of commercial solar energy systems remains well below desirable levels. This is a major concern for new generation photovoltaics, which utilize thin films (~ 1 micron) of the photoactive material. Hence, traditional light trapping techniques such as optical gratings (~ 10 microns) employed for bulk cells are not applicable. Metallic nanocomposites offer much promise in light trapping in thin film photocells. The central idea is to exploit the resonant interaction between electromagnetic waves and the localized oscillations of the free electron gas density at the nanoparticle-dielectric interface. The first part of the talk will focus on the design and optimization of such materials for renewable energy applications. In the second part of the talk, a robust manufacturing route for such materials, namely laser-induced melting and self-organization of ultrathin (~ nm) metal films deposited on a suitable substrate will be discussed [Relevant references: APL 91, 043105 (2007); Phys. Rev. B, 75, 235439 (2007); Nanotechnology, 17, 4229 (2006); Phys. Rev. Lett., 101, 017802 (2008); APL 97, 043703 (2010); Nature 466, 799 (2010)].


Radhakrishna "Suresh" Sureshkumar (B.S. 1990 (IIT Madras); M.S. 1992 (Syracuse University), Ph.D. 1996 (University of Delaware) is professor and department chair of Biomedical and Chemical Engineering and Professor of Physics at Syracuse University. Prior to joining SU in January 2010, he was professor of chemical engineering at Washington University in Saint Louis. In 1997, Sureshkumar was awarded the Alan P. Colburn Prize for the most outstanding doctoral dissertation in engineering and mathematical sciences by University of Delaware. In 1999, he received a National Science Foundation CAREER Award. He has co-authored over 75 peer-reviewed journal articles and numerous technical presentations with 18 doctoral advisees, post-doctoral fellows and UG researchers. During his sabbatical in 2008, he was visiting professor at University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, Rice University, University of Edinburgh and University of Porto.


Suresh's research interests are in structure, dynamics and rheology of soft condensed matter, interfacial phenomena at nano/meso scales and interaction of light with nanomaterials, interfaces and photosynthetic organisms.