Nano-Rectennas WAS: RE: Casimir effect energy extraction

From: Eugene Leitl (
Date: Mon Jan 31 2000 - 17:32:25 MST

Stirling Westrup writes:
> 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

These exist. They're called photovoltaics cells. The
mono/polycrystalline ones are indeed build in (dedicated) chip
fabs. Thin-film PV cells are either CVD'd on inert matrix, or printed.

> be highly efficient and very long lasting solar cells shouldn't they? What

It is difficult to find semiconductors which rectify at some 100
THz. The thing next closest to it is the photosynthetic center I
guess. It would be definitely neat to be able to split water with an
artifical photosynthetic setup.

> technological barriers are currently preventing us from trying this out?

Inability to design and mass-fabricate at molecular scale.

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Thu Jul 27 2000 - 14:03:04 MDT