A futuristic thought

At the Raman lab, a team seeks to understand how light and heat interact with metamaterials and nanoscale optical structures and devices, with the goal of enabling new technologies. In particular, they are motivated by the possibility of enabling fundamentally new approaches to renewable energy, information processing, sensing, displays and communication systems.

Led by Prof. Aaswath Raman, their research interests span a range of topics, including nanophotonics, photovoltaics, computational methods, machine learning and energy systems. Developments in these fields have allowed them to control light-matter interaction in new and extraordinary ways that we’ve just scratched the surface of. They are thus vital and important frontiers of scientific inquiry with the potential for near-term impact in how we deal with a remarkably broad array of sectors in our economy.

In the recent past, a highlight of their work has been in investigating a mechanism known as radiative sky cooling. They have shown that using nanophotonic and metamaterials approaches one can harness a ubiquitous and renewable source of energy that remains largely unexploited: the cold of the universe. You can watch Prof. Raman’s TED Talk on the subject to learn more.