New Mars Forums

Official discussion forum of The Mars Society and MarsNews.com

You are not logged in.

Announcement

Announcement: We've recently made changes to our user database and have removed inactive and spam users. If you can not login, please re-register.

#1 2019-01-25 20:18:39

Void
Member
Registered: 2011-12-29
Posts: 3,011

Photon Upconversion

This seems like it would be a life support topic.

By the reasonable request of a member, this topic has been created to better cover the materials specific to Photon Upconversion.

Prior to this the discussion was in this topic:
http://newmars.com/forums/viewtopic.php?id=7552
Starting with post #15 I believe, and perhaps ending in post #25.

Take it away tahanson43206...

Done.

Last edited by Void (2019-01-25 20:23:15)


I like people who criticize angels dancing on a pinhead.  I also like it when angels dance on my pinhead.

Offline

#2 2019-01-25 20:54:17

tahanson43206
Member
Registered: 2018-04-27
Posts: 1,047

Re: Photon Upconversion

For Void ...

Thank you for creating this topic.  There is a risk this topic will not attract participation by existing members of the Forum who post frequently.

On the other hand, the Forum statistics indicate that there are many people who have subscribed as members, and who have not yet posted to the forum.

And, in addition, since this Forum is open to the public, there may be visitors who have academic or professional interests that would align with this topic.

I am willing to try to collect pertinent information to support the topic for a while, in hopes that others more knowledgeable or experienced in the field will be inspired to contribute.

For SpaceNut ... thank you for the reminder this may not be a topic that is of general interest.  It would have died a while ago, as one of many discoveries Void has posted over the years, if I had not picked it up. 

That said, I appreciate your contributions, which have added perspective (and art work) to the topic.

The following is copied from Post #33, of the topic:   Life support systems» Heliostats on Mars, and other worlds.

Photon upconversion appears to be a "real" phenomenon of Nature.  It is being exploited in the biological field, and apparently is considered to have potential value in other fields as well, because five patents have been applied for that claim intellectual property around this discovery.  In particular, as SpaceNut pointed out, it is being incorporated into the design of full spectrum solar cells, as a way of capturing energy from the near infrared spectrum.

From articles reported earlier in this thread, I gather that there are at least two mechanisms for photon upconversion.  The first appears to be successive inputs of lower energy photons which pump electrons to higher levels, with the payoff coming when a photon of higher energy is released.

However, the one that I find particularly interesting is one that combines inputs from photons with energy delivered by collision (heat).

This report leads me to imagine a battery that can be recharged by immersion in hot coals.   In this scenario, heat flowing into the device would contribute to photon upconversion leading to input to photovoltaic devices which themselves deliver current to a battery capable of holding energy despite thermal activity.

I have no idea if a battery can be constructed that would operate at temperatures found in glowing coals, so the concept may not be achievable in the real world.

However, if the concept is not in violation of physics, and if it can be made practical, then a back packer carrying such a device could recharge it with a handy wood fire.  I gather that there are already offered on the market devices which use heat flow as a recharging mechanism, which says to me that there must be a sufficient market to have justified all the effort someone went to to bring such devices to market.

The difference here is that heat flow would NOT be involved.  The device would collect energy from a thermal environment and convert it to stored energy using ONLY quantum physics.

Again ... at this point I have no idea if this concept violates laws of physics of which I am unaware, but would like to offer it for consideration.

My tentative plan is to update this topic once a week.

(th)

Last edited by tahanson43206 (2019-01-26 07:12:47)

Offline

#3 2019-02-05 01:13:46

knightdepaix
Member
Registered: 2014-07-07
Posts: 194

Re: Photon Upconversion

From my previous posts
Power generation on Mars

knightdepaix wrote:

How useful would photon upconversion be useful for recycling waster energy such as thermal, geothermal or nuclear in infrared to artificial visible and ultraviolet rays?Can Lanthanide or nickel oxides be useful in that role?


Index» Life support systems» Greenhouses

knightdepaix wrote:

Is photo upconversion helpful for greenhouses? Waste energy such as thermal in infrared is upconverted to artificial visible light or ultraviolet rays in greenhouses...

RobertDyck wrote:

How would you do that? A 40-watt fluorescent light tube used in commercial buildings has a drop of mercury, the tube is filled with an inert gas at low pressure, usually argon but could be mix of argon, krypton, and/or xenon. A coil at each end heats the gas, which evaporates the mercury. An AC electric current through the mercury vapour causes it to emit UV light, predominantly @ 253.7 and 185 nm. A fluorescent coating absorbs that UV light, and re-emits visible light. Fluorescent tubes are clear glass, the white coating inside the tubes is the fluorescent stuff. Notice it isn't transparent. How would you do this for a greenhouse window? Wouldn't a fluorescent coating block visible light? Sounds like you would need some complicated arrangement with mirrors. At some point a spectrally selective reflector would let visible light through, but reflect UV. The UV would be direct to a fluorescent coating. Sunlight has a broad spectrum, not just 2 frequencies; solar UV spans 100 nm to 400 nm, with most being 250 nm to 400 nm. A lot of solar energy is UV, but frankly most is visible light. Rather than some complicated mirror thing, I have argued for windows. Although my idea of long narrow greenhouses allow simple flat mirrors along the sides to concentrate light.

In the wavelength chart below, notice a sharp drop in irradience at the boundary between visible light and UV. That isn't a coincidence. Our eyes have evolved to make use of the brightest, most useful part of the spectrum. Actually, human retina (rods and blue cones) can see UV-A. However, natural human eye lenses have a coating that filters out UV. One guess why is so that our retina doesn't get sunburn.
https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/e/e7/Solar_spectrum_en.svg/800px-Solar_spectrum_en.svg.png

elderflower wrote:

You can absorb light energy at a short wavelength and emit the energy at a longer wavelength. That's how fluorescence works. You can't emit it at a shorter wavelength as you would have to create energy due to the greater energy of shorter wavelength photons.

knightdepaix wrote:

Could more photons at the beginning of the upconversion gain energy from some of the photons? That meant number of photos decreases from the beginning to the end but the remaining photons gain energy. However the overall wave-mass content of the photons could remain constant albeit some loss leaving the upconversion process. Here I understand the energy of photons as the whole or part of the wave content within the wave-mass content of the photons

elderflower wrote:

That's how photosynthesis works. The chlorophyll system saves up the energy from, I think, 4 photons to carry out a water splitting reaction. The energy is then stored in a molecule called Adenosine Tri Phosphate. The energy from the phosphate ATP can then be released by the cell when and where it needs it. If the cell is equipped with the correct enzymes this can be emitted as light, as in fireflies and marine phosphorescence.

knightdepaix wrote:

But is photo upconversion helpful for greenhouses? Waste energy such as thermal in infrared is upconverted to artificial visible light or ultraviolet rays in greenhouses... Infrared photons decrease in numbers but increase in energy in the form of emitting visible light and ultraviolet rays in greenhouses?

Offline

#4 2019-02-05 08:02:31

tahanson43206
Member
Registered: 2018-04-27
Posts: 1,047

Re: Photon Upconversion

For knightdepaix in #3 above ...

Thank you for bringing over the discussion of upconversion from your previous topic!

If you have time to follow the links to papers given in Void's topic, I think you will see that upconversion is confirmed as a viable mechanism for combining energy from lower energy photons (infrared) to create higher energy photons.  The example shown in the link is of two photons contributing to successive pumping of an electron from a lower energy shell to a higher one.  The payoff occurs when the electron jumps all the way back to the original shell, releasing a photon which contains the energy supplied by the two infrared photons.

As I understand it, the mechanism is finding commercial application in multispectrum photovoltaic cells, which are able to consume infrared in addition to visible light.

I am interested in the potential to harvest infrared for the purpose of charging a battery. However, your previous post ended with a question about applicability of the mechanism for use in greenhouses.  One answer would appear (to me at least) to be yes, if you are willing to accept a two step process.  The mechanism already (apparently) put into use to create a flow of electricity with infrared energy as input could (presumably) yield a direction of current into LED lamps optimized for creating photons needed for growth of plants.

If you (or anyone) has the time and energy to study the papers published and patents secured on upconversion, and if you (or anyone) would be willing to write your discoveries here, it would certainly help to move the topic along.

Offline

#5 2019-02-08 21:08:13

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 16,135

Re: Photon Upconversion

Not sure if this belongs in this topic of the end of the other identified in post 1 of it.

Current generation via quantum proton transfer

current-generation-via-quantum-proton-transfer-hg.jpg

Research paper

Offline

#6 2019-02-08 21:58:48

tahanson43206
Member
Registered: 2018-04-27
Posts: 1,047

Re: Photon Upconversion

For SpaceNut re #5 above ...

Thanks for this impressive find.  It certainly appears (to me at least) to be in the same family as photon upconversion, since both are using quantum interactions.

The Spacedaily article inspires (me at least) to come back tomorrow to look at the underlying paper.

Update next day: The underlying article is protected.  However, it is (apparently) available at public libraries (in the United States), so I will investigate to see if one of the local libraries has a subscription.

That said, the teaser for the article indicates the researchers have found a curious transition state between quantum tunneling and classical physics.  I am not clear (at this point) on what is being described as "low" and "high" in the teaser.

In other words, at this point, I am not clear on what is meant by "low overpotential" and "high overpotential".

(th)

Last edited by tahanson43206 (2019-02-09 08:58:23)

Offline

#7 2019-03-27 12:42:21

knightdepaix
Member
Registered: 2014-07-07
Posts: 194

Re: Photon Upconversion

to tahanson43206 #4

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thermoelectric_generator
Thermoelectric generator exists.

I try to understand the science of other posters so the following is my imagination.
Architecture put material and food manufacturing into dedicated rooms, where most waste heat are generated, of a laboratory or factory complex. The walls of the rooms are insulated by numerous layers of different thermoelectric materials in a decreasing cascade from hotter to cooler heat. Electric wires are installed in the pillars that hold the walls to direct the generated electric currents to rooms in the basement where the electricity supply for the whole complex is maintained. Even better is that those rooms for manufacturing are detached from the complex, similar to a very large detached garage. Then the cold side of the last layer of thermoelectric materials is exposed to the Martian outdoor. Average Martian outdoor temperature is 63 Celcius below zero and at night 90 below...

Apparently, rechargeable batteries can be installed in the basement rooms. On paper, all these ideas seem to work...

However, with that much area to cover by the thermoelectric materials, will the current generated great enough? In other words, how practical are these ideas...

Last edited by knightdepaix (2019-03-27 12:57:15)

Offline

#8 2019-03-27 13:02:19

tahanson43206
Member
Registered: 2018-04-27
Posts: 1,047

Re: Photon Upconversion

For knightdepaix #7

Thank you for your interesting contribution.  My first reaction was to suppose that the heat flow effects cited in the Wikipedia article are different from the photon upconversion effects reported earlier (originally by void).  However, I then recalled that thermal activity is reported to contribute to the upconversion process.

This caused me to realize that (at present) I do not understand the quantum level activity that is causing electrons to be displaced due to thermal activity in a junction of two dissimilar metals. 

Looking at the two processes from a distance, one would appear to involve converting two lower energy photons to a higher energy one, and the other would appear to involve displacing electrons to cause current flow.  However, both processes necessarily involve electrons moving from one energy level to another, so I am now wondering if there may be some (or several?) aspects of physics the two phenomena have in common.

It would be helpful if someone with the appropriate background and interests were available to contribute.  Perhaps such a person will read this appeal and decide to join NewMars forum.

(th)

Offline

#9 2019-03-27 16:27:59

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 16,135

Re: Photon Upconversion

The dissimilar metals are in the oxide form and thin flim like which make them when they are side to side will act as a capacitor plates. This happens with the semiconductor field manufacturing of metal on metal oxide coinstruction. Its been years since I worked in that field back in the 80's.

Offline

#10 2019-07-03 19:27:52

knightdepaix
Member
Registered: 2014-07-07
Posts: 194

Re: Photon Upconversion

tahanson43206 wrote:

I am interested in the potential to harvest infrared for the purpose of charging a battery. If you (or anyone) has the time and energy to study the papers published and patents secured on upconversion, and if you (or anyone) would be willing to write your discoveries here, it would certainly help to move the topic along.

Thanks for reading my imagination as follows.
Your idea on its own could be applied to automobile lead acid battery recharging, computer network and server buildings or even computer laptop heat sink. The car radiator and a heat sink is coated with upconversion oxides that convert a wide range of infrared to a suitable and narrow range visible light wavelength. The interior of the cover of the radiator or sink is coated solar cell material that convert that narrow range to electricity. In car, that electrical power contribute to recharging the lead acid battery. With hybrid car available now, that electrical power can also help run the car. On laptop, the electricity can help recharge the laptop battery, making battery last longer before complete discharge.

On space industry, few giant photo upconversion devices on floating cloud top factories. The devices change the extreme heat in venus atmosphere in infrared to a narrow range of visible light wavelength. The few devices concentrate the visible light beam on a geosynchronous satellite. That satellite send the beam to a stationary satellite between Venus and Earth. The second satellite can then send the energy in photons to the moon where effort for mining helium-3 or thorium shall need enormous amount of energy.

In essence, treat the Venusian atmosphere as a heat sink for the planet and using that Venusian energy to mine resources on the moon for nuclear fusion and fission on Mars.

Last edited by knightdepaix (2019-07-03 19:28:33)

Offline

#11 2019-07-03 19:57:28

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 16,135

Re: Photon Upconversion

A long wave coliding with another long wave to create a short wave entity as the only output. This is a summing effect of wave lengths but what about if these are phase seperated but on the same course sort of twisting along a filament with because of the closeness that it only appears to be a single event of a visible photon when its not.
Cold fusion and E=MC^2 are the only things that explain what we are seeing...

Offline

#12 2019-07-12 11:10:45

Void
Member
Registered: 2011-12-29
Posts: 3,011

Re: Photon Upconversion

This is not specifically called Photon Upconversion, but seems like it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck.

Well, this seems promising, as it could indicate yet another method to get better solar cell efficiency for items proposed in the previous post.

https://phys.org/news/2019-07-carbon-na … nnels.html
Quote:

Carbon nanotube device channels heat into light
by Rice University

A scanning electron microscope image shows submicron-scale cavities patterned into films of aligned carbon nanotubes developed at Rice University. The cavities trap thermal photons and narrow their bandwidth, turning them into light that can then be recycled as electricity. Credit: Naik Lab/Rice University
The ever-more-humble carbon nanotube may be just the device to make solar panels—and anything else that loses energy through heat—far more efficient.

Rice University scientists are designing arrays of aligned single-wall carbon nanotubes to channel mid-infrared radiation (aka heat) and greatly raise the efficiency of solar energy systems.
Gururaj Naik and Junichiro Kono of Rice's Brown School of Engineering introduced their technology in ACS Photonics.
Their invention is a hyperbolic thermal emitter that can absorb intense heat that would otherwise be spewed into the atmosphere, squeeze it into a narrow bandwidth and emit it as light that can be turned into electricity.
The discovery rests on another by Kono's group in 2016 when it found a simple method to make highly aligned, wafer-scale films of closely packed nanotubes.
Discussions with Naik, who joined Rice in 2016, led the pair to see if the films could be used to direct "thermal photons."
"Thermal photons are just photons emitted from a hot body," Kono said. "If you look at something hot with an infrared camera, you see it glow. The camera is capturing these thermally excited photons."
Infrared radiation is a component of sunlight that delivers heat to the planet, but it's only a small part of the electromagnetic spectrum. "Any hot surface emits light as thermal radiation," Naik said. "The problem is that thermal radiation is broadband, while the conversion of light to electricity is efficient only if the emission is in a narrow band.

Rice University graduate student Xinwei Li, left, and postdoctoral researcher Weilu Gao used carbon nanotube films Gao helped develop to create a device to recycle waste heat. It could ultimately enhance solar cell output and increase the efficiency of industrial waste-heat recovery. Credit: Jeff Fitlow/Rice University
"The challenge was to squeeze broadband photons into a narrow band," he said.
The nanotube films presented an opportunity to isolate mid-infrared photons that would otherwise be wasted. "That's the motivation," Naik said. "A study by (co-lead author and Rice graduate student) Chloe Doiron found that about 20% of our industrial energy consumption is waste heat. That's about three years of electricity just for the state of Texas. That's a lot of energy being wasted.
"The most efficient way to turn heat into electricity now is to use turbines, and steam or some other liquid to drive them," he said. "They can give you nearly 50% conversion efficiency. Nothing else gets us close to that, but those systems are not easy to implement." Naik and his colleagues aim to simplify the task with a compact system that has no moving parts.
The aligned nanotube films are conduits that absorb waste heat and turn it into narrow-bandwidth photons. Because electrons in nanotubes can only travel in one direction, the aligned films are metallic in that direction while insulating in the perpendicular direction, an effect Naik called hyperbolic dispersion. Thermal photons can strike the film from any direction, but can only leave via one.
"Instead of going from heat directly to electricity, we go from heat to light to electricity," Naik said. "It seems like two stages would be more efficient than three, but here, that's not the case."

A Rice University simulation shows an array of cavities patterned into a film of aligned carbon nanotubes. When optimized, the film absorbs thermal photons and emits light in a narrow bandwidth that can be recycled as electricity. Credit: Chloe Doiron/Rice University
Naik said adding the emitters to standard solar cells could boost their efficiency from the current peak of about 22%. "By squeezing all the wasted thermal energy into a small spectral region, we can turn it into electricity very efficiently," he said. "The theoretical prediction is that we can get 80% efficiency."

Nanotube films suit the task because they stand up to temperatures as high as 1,700 degrees Celsius (3,092 degrees Fahrenheit). Naik's team built proof-of-concept devices that allowed them to operate at up to 700 C (1,292 F) and confirm their narrow-band output. To make them, the team patterned arrays of submicron-scale cavities into the chip-sized films.
"There's an array of such resonators, and each one of them emits thermal photons in just this narrow spectral window," Naik said. "We aim to collect them using a photovoltaic cell and convert it to energy, and show that we can do it with high efficiency."

Sounds like a great thing if it works out in real world processes.

This is also mentioned in post #42 in http://newmars.com/forums/viewtopic.php?id=8497&p=2
and relates to the progression of #32 post to #42 post.

It brings to mind the possibility of also using such a method to push light through a very clear window of small size on Mars.  Hopefully converting U.V. to heat, and then converting all up to 80% of light into the visible band, maybe just the bands that plants like.  Then of course pushing the light into a growth chamber.  And in the interest of efficiency these then optimally in a reservoir of water, so that the waste heat can then be reused in some manner.  Mars having a very deep heat sink at night and in winter climates, that potential is real for Mars I believe.

Not excluding other locations, but if you could pipe light into air or water filled chambers embedded in water, covered by a protective layer including potentially water ice, you might try doing that in high latitude locations where ice is abundant.  Maybe even the polar ice caps, which have a horridly deep cold-heat sink.


Done

Last edited by Void (2019-07-12 11:19:12)


I like people who criticize angels dancing on a pinhead.  I also like it when angels dance on my pinhead.

Offline

#13 2019-07-14 16:53:55

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 16,135

Re: Photon Upconversion

Void wrote:

Well, this seems promising, as it could indicate yet another method to get better solar cell efficiency for items proposed in the previous post.
https://phys.org/news/2019-07-carbon-na … nnels.html
Quote:

Carbon nanotube device channels heat into light
by Rice University

A scanning electron microscope image shows submicron-scale cavities patterned into films of aligned carbon nanotubes developed at Rice University. The cavities trap thermal photons and narrow their bandwidth, turning them into light that can then be recycled as electricity. Credit: Naik Lab/Rice University
The ever-more-humble carbon nanotube may be just the device to make solar panels—and anything else that loses energy through heat—far more efficient.

Rice University scientists are designing arrays of aligned single-wall carbon nanotubes to channel mid-infrared radiation (aka heat) and greatly raise the efficiency of solar energy systems.
Gururaj Naik and Junichiro Kono of Rice's Brown School of Engineering introduced their technology in ACS Photonics.
Their invention is a hyperbolic thermal emitter that can absorb intense heat that would otherwise be spewed into the atmosphere, squeeze it into a narrow bandwidth and emit it as light that can be turned into electricity.
The discovery rests on another by Kono's group in 2016 when it found a simple method to make highly aligned, wafer-scale films of closely packed nanotubes.
Discussions with Naik, who joined Rice in 2016, led the pair to see if the films could be used to direct "thermal photons."
"Thermal photons are just photons emitted from a hot body," Kono said. "If you look at something hot with an infrared camera, you see it glow. The camera is capturing these thermally excited photons."
Infrared radiation is a component of sunlight that delivers heat to the planet, but it's only a small part of the electromagnetic spectrum. "Any hot surface emits light as thermal radiation," Naik said. "The problem is that thermal radiation is broadband, while the conversion of light to electricity is efficient only if the emission is in a narrow band.

Rice University graduate student Xinwei Li, left, and postdoctoral researcher Weilu Gao used carbon nanotube films Gao helped develop to create a device to recycle waste heat. It could ultimately enhance solar cell output and increase the efficiency of industrial waste-heat recovery. Credit: Jeff Fitlow/Rice University
"The challenge was to squeeze broadband photons into a narrow band," he said.
The nanotube films presented an opportunity to isolate mid-infrared photons that would otherwise be wasted. "That's the motivation," Naik said. "A study by (co-lead author and Rice graduate student) Chloe Doiron found that about 20% of our industrial energy consumption is waste heat. That's about three years of electricity just for the state of Texas. That's a lot of energy being wasted.
"The most efficient way to turn heat into electricity now is to use turbines, and steam or some other liquid to drive them," he said. "They can give you nearly 50% conversion efficiency. Nothing else gets us close to that, but those systems are not easy to implement." Naik and his colleagues aim to simplify the task with a compact system that has no moving parts.
The aligned nanotube films are conduits that absorb waste heat and turn it into narrow-bandwidth photons. Because electrons in nanotubes can only travel in one direction, the aligned films are metallic in that direction while insulating in the perpendicular direction, an effect Naik called hyperbolic dispersion. Thermal photons can strike the film from any direction, but can only leave via one.
"Instead of going from heat directly to electricity, we go from heat to light to electricity," Naik said. "It seems like two stages would be more efficient than three, but here, that's not the case."

A Rice University simulation shows an array of cavities patterned into a film of aligned carbon nanotubes. When optimized, the film absorbs thermal photons and emits light in a narrow bandwidth that can be recycled as electricity. Credit: Chloe Doiron/Rice University
Naik said adding the emitters to standard solar cells could boost their efficiency from the current peak of about 22%. "By squeezing all the wasted thermal energy into a small spectral region, we can turn it into electricity very efficiently," he said. "The theoretical prediction is that we can get 80% efficiency."

Nanotube films suit the task because they stand up to temperatures as high as 1,700 degrees Celsius (3,092 degrees Fahrenheit). Naik's team built proof-of-concept devices that allowed them to operate at up to 700 C (1,292 F) and confirm their narrow-band output. To make them, the team patterned arrays of submicron-scale cavities into the chip-sized films.
"There's an array of such resonators, and each one of them emits thermal photons in just this narrow spectral window," Naik said. "We aim to collect them using a photovoltaic cell and convert it to energy, and show that we can do it with high efficiency."

Sounds like a great thing if it works out in real world processes.

Done

Offline

Board footer

Powered by FluxBB