Plasmonics/Energy Harvesting

The Opportunity

Batteries eventually need to be recharged, but there's not always a handy place to plug them in. Yet there is energy all around us (e.g. light, heat, motion etc.) that can be used for power if we could easily capture it and convert it to electricity. Current "energy harvesting" technologies are too bulky, expensive, and inefficient.

The Innovation

ITN has developed a thermal energy harvesting device that converts waste heat directly into electricity. Using plasmonics technology, these inexpensive thin-film devices capture and convert excess heat from sources where energy is currently wasted...or worse, actively removed by applying additional energy-using processes (e.g., air conditioning).

The Vision

Our plasmonics energy harvesting will create electricity from ambient heat sources like car exhaust, industrial processes (e.g. steel production, glass manufacturing), industrial ovens, and power plants, etc. That electricity can be used immediately or stored in batteries.