Schrödinger Lecture 2012
Carbon Nano-Materials for Energy Harvesting
WCU on Flexible Nanosystems, School of Electrical Engineering, Korea University, Seoul, and Sineurop Nanotech GmbH, Muenchen, Germany (retired from Max Planck Institut fuer Festkoerperforschung Stuttgart, Germany)
Nanomaterials lead us to the limits of solid state physics. In the extreme case, the physical properties of nanomaterials only depend on general physical constants such as the fine structure constant α = 2πe2/hc = 1/137. For example, the electrical conductance and the optical absorption of graphene monolayers and of individual single-walled carbon nanotubes are only determined by α. The art of nano-engineering is to combine nanotubes or graphene flakes to macroscopic arrays and to use these arrays in industrial application.
The lecture will give an introduction into the physics of graphene and nanotubes and will then report on the state-of-the-art of using graphene layers and nanotube networks in transparent electrodes and in energy harvesting by solar cells and by thermoelectric power generators.