Let There Be Nano

Conrad Burke

Einstein explained it a century ago and won a Nobel Prize. Now we make use of it every day--inefficiently. It's called the photoelectric effect: light can produce electricity. Electricity produces light. But solar energy still costs more than the fossil- fuel variety. And our lightbulbs and fluorescent tubes waste half their energy.

InnovaLight Inc. wants to help. The company's process for reducing silicon to nanosize, light-sensitive crystal dots could revolutionize solar energy and lighting. The start-up, which just moved to Santa Clara from St. Paul, Minn., claims it will be the first to market with a silicon nanoparticle solvent--silicon "ink"--that would mean...

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