The Laboratory for Energy & Nano Sciences (LENS) is a newly established laboratory belonging jointly to the programs of Mechanical Engineering and Material Science at Masdar Institute of Science and Technology (MIST). The research at LENS focuses on nanoscale energy transport, conversion, and storage, and on the application of nanotechnology towards the development of novel power generation devices and/or systems based on renewable energy sources. In this respect LENS will provide novel approach and expertise to improve power generation devices and systems used within the Masdar city and of interest to the Masdar Initiative.

The last few decades have witnessed a trend in miniaturization, emphasizing phenomena and devices that are small and/or fast. The trend in the solar industry for example illustrates this emphasis. A common feature is the interest in the transport and interaction of matter in confined geometrical structures. There are fundamental differences between transport processes at the nano-scale and the macro-scale due to quantum and classical size effects. We explore these effects in order to improve energy conversion efficiency and storage density, and thermal energy transport. The peculiarity of our approach is the effort carried out to link the manufacturing parameters to both the structural and transport characteristics of nanostructured material for energy applications. The achieved understanding is employed to conceive and develop new nanostructure materials for applications of relevance within the Masdar initiative. Examples are selective surfaces important for concentrate solar power applications and PV systems.

Our work is interdisciplinary and combines mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, physics, and materials science.