2021-2022 OSA-RS Speaker Series: Dr. Nishikant (Nish) Sonwalkar, SunDensity

  • February 22, 2022
  • 7:00 PM
  • Laboratory for Laser Energetics - East Lobby 240 East River Road, Rochester, NY, 14623


Registration is closed

Photonic Smart Coatings for the Enhancement of Photovoltaic Power Generation

Dr. Nishikant (Nish) Sonwalker, SunDensity


The photon management on a glass substrate (SiO2) has attracted significant interest in the opto-electronic industry. The one-dimension photonic crystals show significant promise for the photon capture for optoelectronic applications. The periodic dielectric layers of the transparent nano-layers can form a one-dimensional photonic crystal in the form of Bragg reflector. The properties of Bragg reflection are well-known and studied extensively in optoelectronic applications, such as DBR and VCSEL laser and fiber optic applications. We have designed and developed plasmonic interface to the Bragg reflectors with metal nano particles for the coupling of plasmonic energy to the photon transfer through resonant nano-cavities and Bragg reflectors. The effect is to manage the photon wavelengths in the region of interest while harvesting the several low energy photons using photonic crystal layers for creating a photonic smart coating for PV cells.

The broader impact of Photonic Smart Coating (PSC) will be to significantly improve the power output of photovoltaic solar cells and sensors to accelerate generation of clean power. This photonic spectrum shaping technology can be applied in numerous industries including Solar Panels, Optics, Imaging, and Display devices generating large number of high paying hi-tech jobs across USA.

Dr. Sonwalkar will present the concept of photonic smart coatings, founding of SunDensity and his journey from Boston to Rochester for manufacturing scale-up and growth.

About the speaker

Inventor, academician and musician Dr. Nish is a pioneer in the field of solar energy technology. He is actively involved with the research and development related to advanced photonics and nanomaterials for solar applications. His inventions related to photonics and nanomaterials motivated him to create SunDensity’s Photonic Smart Coating Technology, which has the potential to revolutionize the solar energy industry. As the research faculty at MIT, he developed the combined molecular dynamics (MD) and laser Raman spectroscopy methodology for the design of photonic coatings and material interfaces. He has also served as PI on numerous NSF research and SBIR awards related to surface sciences and education technology. He received Doctor of Science degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

LLE COVID policy

Surgical, N-95 or KN-95 Masks are required in LLE facilities.  Individuals coming to the meeting will need to fill out a COVID Health Screening questionnaire which will be given out when they arrive. Disinfectant wipes will be available for attendee use.

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