Infoscience

Review

Optofluidics for energy applications

Since its emergence as a field, optofluidics has developed unique tools and techniques for enabling the simultaneous delivery of light and fluids with microscopic precision. In this Review, we describe the possibilities for applying these same capabilities to the field of energy. We focus in particular on optofluidic opportunities in sunlight-based fuel production in photobioreactors and photocatalytic systems, as well as optofluidically enabled solar energy collection and control. We then provide a series of physical and scaling arguments that demonstrate the potential benefits of incorporating optofluidic elements into energy systems. Throughout the Review we draw attention to the ways in which optofluidics must evolve to enable the up-scaling required to impact the energy field.

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