Optics and Photonics are vital in energy generation, energy conservation, and monitoring the consequences of both on the environment.
Role of Photonics in Energy Conservation:
Solid-State Lighting: The electromagnetic spectrum generated from the heating of the tungsten filament in an incandescent bulb primarily covers the infrared spectrum with a small portion in the visible region.
Flat Panel Displays: The key driver for flat-panel displays was the progress made in amorphous silicon technology. In active-matrix displays, each pixel is driven with a driver circuit and large-area thin-film electronics are required.
Light Management for Display and Lighting Applications: Light management is an important aspect for both solid-state lighting and display applications incorporating either inorganic LEDs or OLEDs, particularly in relation to the light extraction efficiency of these devices.
Optical Communications and Interconnects: The use of optics in telecommunications is well known. The amount of data that will be encoded on a wave is decided by the frequency of the wave carrying the signal. The development of communication has, therefore, involved using ever higher carrier wave frequencies, rising through the radio-frequency spectrum and beyond to optical frequencies. In addition to the very high-frequency carrier wave, a decisive advantage of optical communication has been the availability of optical fibers to hold the signal over huge distances with very low loss.