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Directory:Solar Rectenna by Brian Willis

Lasted edited by Andrew Munsey, updated on June 15, 2016 at 1:09 am.

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Image:Brian-Willis with Rectenna 400.jpg
Image:Rectenna-Diagram 2-1 Illustration of a working nanosized optical rectifying antenna or rectenna Illustration-by-Justine-Braisted 2013-SFA 300.jpg

: "This new technology could get us over the hump and make solar energy cost-competitive with fossil fuels."

Compiled by Congress:Founder:Sterling D. Allan

Pure Energy Systems News

March 8, 2013

Solar Power Today made the following announcement on February 6, 2013:

: 'If it’s up to Brian Willis, we will soon quite literally be tuning in to the sun. The University of Connecticut professor has patented a technique to manufacture nanosized antenna arrays that have the capability to efficiently convert sunlight into usable electric power.'

: In theory, these very small antenna arrays can harvest over 70 percent of the sun’s electromagnetic radiation and convert it into electric power. These are called “rectennas” due to their ability to absorb the alternating current induced by sunlight and directly rectify it to direct current. In contrast to existing solar silicon solar panels which mainly work within a specified band gap, rectennas can be tuned to harvest sunlight in the whole solar spectrum which makes it very efficient.

: Brian Willis, a University of Connecticut engineering professor, was able to discover a way to manufacture a working rectenna device. The process is called selective area atomic layer deposition (ALD) and it can precisely coat the tip of the device with layers of individual copper atoms to achieve a gap of about 1.5 nanometers, a critical size because this creates an ultra-fast tunnel that enables the maximum transfer of electricity.

: ALD can be successfully used to create this very tiny gap, whereas existing lithographic fabrication methods have been unable to create this distance between the two interior electrodes. To put this in perspective, this extremely small distance is 30,000 times smaller than the human hair’s diameter. The appeal of ALD is its simplicity, reproducibility, and scalability for mass production. ALD can also be used in other areas including thermoelectrics, infrared sensing, and chemical sensors. It is hoped that this technology can one day help solar energy achieve cost-parity with fossil fuels.

: Willis is collaborating with scientists from Penn State Altoona to build a prototype rectenna and test the efficiency in an effort to further fine tune the technology.

There are actually quite a few videos at YouTube under the search for "Rectenna".

Official Website

Profile: Brian Willis

Dr. Willis is an associate professor and director of the Chemical Engineering Program who joined the University of Connecticut in 2008.

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Brian Willis, associate professor of chemical, materials, and biomolecular engineering, in his lab, with an X-ray photoelectron spectrometer. (Sean Flynn/UConn Photo)

In the News

Google News > - six stories as of March 7, 2013

Image:Rectenna-Diagram 2-1 Illustration of a working nanosized optical rectifying antenna or rectenna Illustration-by-Justine-Braisted 2013-SFA 95x95.jpg
Latest: Directory:Solar > Directory:Solar PhotoAntennas > Directory:Photoantenna Research and Development > Directory:Solar Rectenna by Brian Willis - A U-Conn researcher has come up with special new technique using selective area atomic layer deposition (ALD) to make the tiny shapes necessary for rectenna fabrication. Its 70% efficiency in converting light to electricity from the whole solar spectrum breaks the conventional Shockley–Queisser limit by not relying on the same mechanism as classical solar cells. It's cheap, simple and scalable for mass production. (PESWiki March 8, 2013)

Solar Rectenna by Brian Willis (News:Pure Energy Blog March 8, 2013)

'Efficient solar ‘antenna’ to tune in to the sun - (Solar Power Today February 6, 2013)

UConn Professor’s Patented Technique Key to New Solar Power Technology - (UConn February 6, 2013)


See also


Directory:Solar - index of resources

There was an error working with the wiki: Code[1] | News:2009:Solar | News:2006-2008:Solar

PowerPedia:Solar Energy - Encyclopedic review of history and future

Directory:Solar Energy Research and Development


Directory:Solar Problems


Directory:Concentrated Solar Power

Directory:Solar Infrared Harvesting

Directory:Solar PhotoVoltaics

Directory:Home Generation:Solar PV

Directory:Photovoltaic Research and Development

Directory:Solar Thermal

Directory:Home Generation:Solar Heating

Directory:Thin Film Solar

Directory:Solar:Photosynthesis Imitation

Directory:Solar Paint

Directory:Dye Solar Cells

Directory:Solar Tower

Directory:Floating Solar Chimney

Directory:Space Based Solar Power

Directory:Solar Sails

Directory:Solar Windows


Directory:Plastic Solar Cells

Directory:Silicon - more efficient uses, alternatives, methods

Directory:Black Silicon

Directory:Synchronous Solar Heliostat

Directory:Solar:Installation and Consultation



Directory:Solar Applications



Directory:Solar Hydrogen

Directory:Walipini Underground Greenhouses

OS:Solar Ethanol - distiller design

Directory:Energy from Roadways

Directory:Solar Pavement - black-body absorption of the asphalt

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