BP and Caltech are starting a 5 year research program to use Nanorods for solar power. The Nanorods will be small cylinders of silicon. A solar cell based on an array of nanorods will be able to absorb light along the length of the rods by collecting the electricity generated by sunlight more efficiently than a conventional solar cell, according to claims made by BP and Caltech.
The program will investigate using nanorods and nanowires tocreate designer solar cell materials in order to change the conventional paradigm for solar cell materials.
It will also investigate approaches to create silicon-based single junction and compound semiconductor multi-junction nanorod solar cells by using vapor deposition synthesis methods.
Nanorods are being investigated by others as ways to create superlens using metamaterial effects.