Improved Energy and Information Collection from Light with Nanomaterials

Improved Energy and Information Collection from Light with Nanomaterials

Oscar Vazquez-Mena, PhD
Department of NanoEngineering
University of California San Diego

DATE: Wednesday, September 22, 2021

TIME: 7:00 PM                                 

PLACE: Your Computer                     




Dr. Oscar Vazquez Mena received his Ph.D. from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology of Lausanne (EPFL) in Switzerland. He did postdoctoral research stages at the University of California, Berkeley in the Department of Physics from 2011 to 2014, and at the Institute of Photonic Sciences in Barcelona in 2015 with a Marie Sklodowska-Curie fellowship. Before his Ph.D., he obtained his  B.S. in Physics Engineering from the Monterrey Institute of Technology in 2000 in Mexico, and then his M.S. degree from Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden, realizing  his thesis at Delft University of Technology.  He is a recipient of the DARPA Young Faculty Award, the DARPA’s Director Fellowship, and the NSF CAREER award. He has also done extensive outreach to promote higher education among underserved communities, receiving the UC San Diego Cesar Chavez faculty award and the Outstanding Engineering Educator from the SD County Engineering Council.



Light carries vital energy and information for life. It is the key for photosynthesis, and the reason for one of our key senses: sight. A key challenge to achieve sustainable development is the efficient use of sun light energy to replace carbon fuels. At the same time, light encodes critical information from our surroundings that sometimes goes beyond the visual range of our eyes. Information on biomolecules, toxic gases and night vision capabilities can be found in the infrared, which our eyes are not capable to detect. In this talk, Prof. Vazquez will present a novel architecture based on two important nanomaterials to improve both energy extraction and information collection from light beyond the visible range. His goal is to bring energy and information harvest capabilities into the hands of human beings, enabling individual sto extend their perception and interactions with their surroundings via efficient energy and information collection from light surrounding us.