[Sample Blog Post] Session Planning for the Energy & Environment Congress

Session Planning for the Energy & Environment Congress

Looking through the conference agenda, I realize that there will be more interesting talks than I could possibly attend. Four concurrent themes constitute the Congress:


  • E2 (optical instrumentation for energy and environmental applications) focuses on the optical tools for energy-related devices and the direct application of optics in environmental monitoring.
  • PV (optical nanostructures and advanced materials for photovoltaics) focuses on the photon management in solar cells by means of nanotechnology. Clever engineering of structure/material aims at manipulating the distribution of photons and/or maximizing their chances to be converted to useful electricity.
  • SOLAR (optics for solar energy) focuses primarily on solar concentration that, to its zeroth order approximation, is photon management done at a much larger scale. And as a result, people most likely think of light as rays instead of waves as in the PV context. Other interesting topics in SOLAR include photochemical upconversion in which energy-deficient photons are exploited.
  • SOLED (solid state and organic lighting) focuses on LEDs that have transformed the world of lighting (and the world we live and see). This is probably the greatest achievement since Edison’s bulb!

And here’s a partial list of individual talks that I’m most interested in:


  • Photovoltaic light management with ordered and disordered metal and dielectric nanostructures (Harry Atwater, Caltech)
  • Dielectric optical antenna solar superabsorbers (Linyou Cao, NC State)
  • Optics and device performance (Franz-Josef Haug, EPFL)
  • Plasmonic reflection-grating back contacts for light trapping in thin-film silicon solar cells (Ulrich Paetzold, Julich Research Center)
  • Photonic crystals and optical mode engineering for thin film photovoltaics (Christian Seassal, Ecole Centrale de Lyon)
  • Towards low-cost >15% efficient film c-Si solar cells (Charles Teplin, NREL)

This is a very exciting time for the synergy between photonics and energy. I can’t wait to learn more about it. See you in two weeks!