Sunlight is widely regarded as the most abundant energy source on Earth. It is clean, free, renewable, and it depletes no fossil fuels.For these reasons, scientists have spent many years developing ways to convert sunlight into a usable form of energy. Current methods of conversion, however, are inefficient and expensive. Researchers at the University of South Dakota in Vermillion are working on the next generation of solar energy applications. They have developed a method to use visible light for hydrogen fuel production.
Outcome/Impact/benefits: This research has focused on the development and direct write printing of thin polymer films impregnated with silver and upconverting nanoparticles. Such thin polymer films could be used for luminescent solar concentrators, as well as having possible applications in security printing and energy harvesting.