core technologies

The science behind Solaris' NanoAntennaTM is based on an effect observed by the Romans in the 4th century AD. By dissolving metals like gold and silver into glass, Romans observed that new colors would appear in the glass that were completely different from the colors of the original bulk metals. The well-known 19th century physicist, Michael Faraday, showed that this effect was due to a new type of optical absorption, called a plasmon, in metal particles with dimensions much smaller than the wavelength of light.

Two of the important properties of plasmon resonances are the significant enhancement of the optical fields near the metal particle and the orientational dependence of their absorption of light.

Solaris has succeeded in creating several scalable synthetic routes for the production of NanoAntennaTM materials for integrated device studies. We have successfully made core-shell structures for collaborative work at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology where dye-sensitized solar cells were discovered and pioneered. Recent advances in our laboratories have shown nearly an order of magnitude enhancement of absorption in thin film solar cell materials.

Solaris' patent portfolio consists of seven issued patents and sixteen pending patent applications covering specific uses of nano-antennas, materials synthesis and surface modifications. We have also negotiated license agreements with Rice University on the use of core-shell structures for tuning nano-antenna response.

Nanoscale metallic structures act as high-gain antennas for light sensitive molecules.

When the structure is much smaller than the wavelength of light, it concentrates, absorbs and transfers energy.

To date, Solaris has succeeded in creating several high-volume, scalable, synthetic routes for the production of materials for testing in the specific applications discussed. We have successfully made core-shell structures for collaborative testing in solar cell applications at the Swiss Federal Institute where dye-sensitized solar cells were discovered and pioneered using conventional materials. In addition, we have also produced a number of nanomaterials for further surface modification and eventual use in vision and liquid crystal display applications. Efforts have also focused on the engineering of the enhancement effect through a series of key experiments, which when complete, will allow us to optimize the effect for the specific applications and begin the second phase of development where the materials will be characterized in terms of their enhanced light harvesting capabilities through collaborative relationships with institutional and corporate partners.