Nano-Rectennas WAS: RE: Casimir effect energy extraction

From: Stirling Westrup (
Date: Mon Jan 31 2000 - 14:13:05 MST

Robert J. Bradbury wrote:

> On Sun, 30 Jan 2000, Daniel Toffetti wrote:
> Ultimately though this comes down to market size. Once the market
> is large enough and the manufacturing methods productive enough and
> the materials costs low enough (due to large volumes or cheaper
> materials), then solar will become very available. Nanotech makes
> solar inevitable because it makes the factories and materials, literally
> "dirt" cheap.

This reminds me of a question Donald Kingsbury (sf writer) asked me at an SF
convention a few years ago when we shared a panel. I was unable to come up with
a decent answer but maybe the folks here would know: Is there anything stopping
us from making sheets of rectennae (I gather that is a rectifying antenna, but
I'm not sure) that were designed to pick up wavelengths in the visible
spectrum? These would have to be mighty small antennae, so we would have to
build them with chip fabrication techniques or even nanotech, but they should
be highly efficient and very long lasting solar cells shouldn't they? What
technological barriers are currently preventing us from trying this out?

 Stirling Westrup  |  Use of the Internet by this poster       |  is not to be construed as a tacit
                   |  endorsement of Western Technological
                   |  Civilization or its appurtenances.

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