Thursday, November 6, 2008

Utility cut-offs on the rise in the US

Utility cut-offs on the rise in the US

“More than an energy issue, a serious public health issue”

By Tom Eley

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Utility companies are suspending heating and electrical service to customers at a far higher rate than in previous years, according to a recent Wall Street Journal story.

Due to the economic crisis, utilities "are under pressure to clean out accounts that are weighing down their books at a time when their stocks are being hammered and earnings growth has slowed," the WSJ reports. The more aggressive stance toward delinquent payments comes at a time when more and more households are unable to meet high fuel costs due to job losses.

At the same time, new digital power meters and "service limiters" now make it easier for power companies to shut off electricity. With standard meters, to disconnect power it was necessary for an electricity supplier to send out a technician. The cost of this labor had to be factored into the cost of any power suspension. With the new wireless meters, which are being installed by the millions, the power companies can suspend or reduce to a trickle electric service as a means of compelling customers to pay their bills. One state energy assistance directory told the World Socialist Web Site that "all the new meters are just punitive collection devices."

Utility cutoffs are affecting broader sections of the population. "We're seeing an uptick in middle-class people who have never been in this situation before," Eric Hartsfield, director of the customer-service division of the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities, told the WSJ.

George Coling, director of the National Fuel Fund Network that coordinates fuel assistance programs among some 300 private charities, told the WSWS that utility cut-offs are increasing nationally. Coling affirmed that energy companies are being more aggressive in their cut-offs of energy delivery. The WSJ reports significant increases in disconnections or delinquencies that will lead to suspension of utility services in New Jersey, New York and Michigan, where there has been a 39 percent increase in utility shutoffs over the previous year. One Pennsylvania power utility, PPL, reported that it has increased shutoffs by 78 percent through the first three quarters of the year.

Scott Simons, a spokesman for DTE, the utility that provides electricity and gas for much of Michigan, told the WSWS that his company has no statistics available related to increases in cut-offs. But he said that the DTE is attempting to pursue more aggressively those who illegally take electricity from the power grid. According to Simons, unlike some other states there is no state law in Michigan that prevents heat from being suspended in the cold winter months. Instead, DTE attempts to work out payment plans and direct customers to the state agency that administers LIHEAP, or the "Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program."

According to Coling, the recent Congressional increase in federal funding to LIHEAP to $5.1 billion, and the expansion in eligibility to the program, will not meet the demand of households facing rising heating costs and declining ability to pay. The income eligibility limit for LIHEAP was expanded to 150 percent of the federal poverty level, but states may determine, on their own discretion, whether or not to establish a significantly lower level.

Jerry McKim, who heads the Bureau of Energy Assistance for the state of Iowa, anticipates a significant increase in the number of households applying for LIHEAP assistance, which tends to be more generous in Iowa than in some other states. He told the WSWS that the utility corporations tend to do the job of advertising the LIHEAP program since they are "the primary recipients of all this money."

McKim pointed out that even should energy prices come down as a result of the economic crisis to levels from the previous year, rather than the 15 percent increase currently forecast by the US Department of Energy, they will still remain four to five times higher for natural gas—the leading fuel for home heating—compared to five years ago. He said that the utility companies' claims that falling prices are a windfall for consumers are "disingenuous."

"The point here is that energy continues to be clearly unaffordable and the consequences of this are dire," McKim said. "The number of households falling behind is increasing, and the amount they owe is increasing. Elderly households cut back on prescribed medicine, or else they turn their heat down to unsafe levels. Young families will sacrifice nutritional needs of their children, or else turn to unsafe methods to heat their homes that lead to carbon monoxide poisoning or house fires. It's more than an energy issue, it's a serious public health issue."

Obama advisers discuss preparations for war on Iran

Obama advisers discuss preparations for war on Iran

By Peter Symonds

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On the eve of the US elections, the New York Times cautiously pointed on Monday to the emergence of a bipartisan consensus in Washington for an aggressive new strategy towards Iran. While virtually nothing was said in the course of the election campaign, behind-the-scenes top advisers from the Obama and McCain camps have been discussing the rapid escalation of diplomatic pressure and punitive sanctions against Iran, backed by preparations for military strikes.

The article entitled "New Beltway Debate: What to do about Iran" noted with a degree of alarm: "It is a frightening notion, but it not just the trigger-happy Bush administration discussing—if only theoretically—the possibility of military action to stop Iran's nuclear weapons program… [R]easonable people from both parties are examining the so-called military option, along with new diplomatic initiatives."

Behind the backs of American voters, top advisers for President-elect Barack Obama have been setting the stage for a dramatic escalation of confrontation with Iran as soon as the new administration takes office. A report released in September from the Bipartisan Policy Center, a Washington-based think tank, argued that a nuclear weapons capable Iran was "strategically untenable" and detailed a robust approach, "incorporating new diplomatic, economic and military tools in an integrated fashion".

A key member of the Center's task force was Obama's top Middle East adviser, Dennis Ross, who is well known for his hawkish views. He backed the US invasion of Iraq and is closely associated with neo-cons such as Paul Wolfowitz. Ross worked under Wolfowitz in the Carter and Reagan administrations before becoming the chief Middle East envoy under presidents Bush senior and Clinton. After leaving the State Department in 2000, he joined the right-wing, pro-Israel think tank—the Washington Institute for Near East Policy—and signed up as a foreign policy analyst for Fox News.

The Bipartisan Policy Center report insisted that time was short, declaring: "Tehran's progress means that the next administration might have little time and fewer options to deal with this threat." It rejected out-of-hand both Tehran's claims that its nuclear programs were for peaceful purposes, and the 2007 National Intelligence Estimate by US intelligence agencies which found that Iran had ended any nuclear weapons program in 2003.

The report was critical of the Bush administration's failure to stop Iran's nuclear programs, but its strategy is essentially the same—limited inducements backed by harsher economic sanctions and the threat of war. Its plan for consolidating international support is likewise premised on preemptive military action against Iran. Russia, China and the European powers are all to be warned that their failure to accede to tough sanctions, including a provocative blockade on Iranian oil exports, will only increase the likelihood of war.

To underscore these warnings, the report proposed that the US would need to immediately boost its military presence in the Persian Gulf. "This should commence the first day the new president enters office, especially as the Islamic Republic and its proxies might seek to test the new administration. It would involve pre-positioning US and allied forces, deploying additional aircraft carrier battle groups and minesweepers, [and] emplacing other war materiel in the region," it stated.

In language that closely parallels Bush's insistence that "all options remain on the table", the report declared: "We believe a military strike is a feasible option and must remain a last resort to retard Iran's nuclear program." Such a military strike "would have to target not only Iran's nuclear infrastructure, but also its conventional military infrastructure in order to suppress an Iranian response."

Significantly, the report was drafted by Michael Rubin, from the neo-conservative American Enterprise Institute, which was heavily involved in promoting the 2003 invasion of Iraq. A number of Obama's senior Democratic advisers "unanimously approved" the document, including Dennis Ross, former senator Charles Robb, who co-chaired the task force, and Ashton Carter, who served as assistant secretary for defense under Clinton.

Carter and Ross also participated in writing a report for the bipartisan Center for a New American Security, published in September, which concluded that military action against Iran had to be "an element of any true option". While Ross examined the diplomatic options in detail, Carter laid out the "military elements" that had to underpin them, including a cost/benefit analysis of a US aerial bombardment of Iran.

Other senior Obama foreign policy and defense advisers have been closely involved in these discussions. A statement entitled, "Strengthening the Partnership: How to deepen US-Israel cooperation on the Iranian nuclear challenge", drafted in June by a Washington Institute for Near East Policy task force, recommended the next administration hold discussions with Israel over "the entire range of policy options", including "preventative military action". Ross was a taskforce co-convener, and top Obama advisers Anthony Lake, Susan Rice and Richard Clarke all put their names to the document&183;

As the New York Times noted on Monday, Obama defense adviser Richard Danzig, former navy secretary under Clinton, attended a conference on the Middle East convened in September by the same pro-Israel think tank. He told the audience that his candidate believed that a military attack on Iran was a "terrible" choice, but "it may be that in some terrible world we will have to come to grips with such a terrible choice". Richard Clarke, who was also present, declared that Obama was of the view that "Tehran's growing influence must be curbed and that Iran's acquisition of a nuclear weapon is unacceptable." While "his first inclination is not to pull the trigger," Clarke stated, "if circumstances required the use of military force, Obama would not hesitate."

While the New York Times article was muted and did not examine the reports too deeply, writer Carol Giacomo was clearly concerned at the parallels with the US invasion of Iraq. After pointing out that "the American public is largely unaware of this discussion," she declared: "What makes me nervous is that's what happened in the run-up to the Iraq war."

Giacomo continued: "Bush administration officials drove the discussion, but the cognoscenti were complicit. The question was asked and answered in policy circles before most Americans know what was happening… As a diplomatic correspondent for Reuters in those days, I feel some responsibility for not doing more to ensure that the calamitous decision to invade Iraq was more skeptically vetted."

The emerging consensus on Iran in US foreign policy circles again underscores the fact that the differences between Obama and McCain were purely tactical. While millions of Americans voted for the Democratic candidate believing he would end the war in Iraq and address their pressing economic needs, powerful sections of the American elite swung behind him as a better vehicle to prosecute US economic and strategic interests in the Middle East and Central Asia—including the use of military force against Iran.

Class divisions begin to emerge in Obama coalition

Class divisions begin to emerge in Obama coalition

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Barack Obama won the US presidential election Tuesday riding a wave of popular opposition to the Bush administration and the Republican Party. Tens of millions of voters delivered a massive repudiation of the politics of social reaction that have dominated America for decades.

The "Obama coalition," however, is fraught with contradictions. The majority of those who voted for Obama want an end to social inequality, the erosion of democratic rights and militarism. Yet, despite Obama's rhetoric about uniting "Main Street and Wall Street" and "the rich and the poor," he is committed to defending the interests of the most powerful sections of the American corporate elite.

The Democratic Party is already seeking to dampen popular expectations about the incoming administration. Obama suggested this himself in his victory speech in Chicago, when he said, "The road ahead will be long...We may not get there in one year or even one term...There are many who won't agree with every decision or policy I make as president, and we know that government can't solve every problem."

Leading Democrats have lined up to insist that it would be wrong to interpret the election as a mandate for substantial changes in policy. Instead, they are saying the next administration will have to rule from the "center" and rely on a bipartisan alliance with the Republicans.

In an article Wednesday entitled, "Hard Choices and Challenges Follow Triumph," the Washington Post cited several unnamed Obama advisors who said "they were well aware of the dangers of interpreting the results as a mandate for unabashed liberal government."

In other words, the Democrats must reject the will of the American people—who just handed them control of the White House and a greater majority in Congress—and shape policy in conjunction with the most right-wing and pro-business sections of the political establishment, who were overwhelmingly rejected at the polls.

One only has to contrast this with Bush's insistence that he had a mandate for his right-wing agenda despite losing the popular vote in 2000 and failing to win a majority in 2004.

While collaborating with the Republicans, the Democrats are preparing to defy popular expectations that the next administration will provide relief from the growing economic catastrophe. As the Post noted, Obama advisors "are ready for potential conflict with some Democratic constituencies or with some liberal Democrats in Congress, whose pent-up demand for action may clash with Obama's priorities, and are prepared to say no."

The cost of the Wall Street bailout, expanded military operations and a ballooning budget deficit will preclude any expansion in social spending. On the contrary, the Democrats intend to make the working class pay for the breakdown of American capitalism and the government bailout of the financial aristocracy.

Leon Panetta, the former White House chief of staff who has been advising Obama's transition team, told the New York Times, referring to the new president, "You better damn well do the tough stuff up front, because if you think you can delay the tough decisions and tiptoe past the graveyard, you're in for a lot of trouble," Mr. Panetta said. "Make the decisions that involve pain and sacrifice up front."

Obama's selection for White House chief of staff—Rahm Emanuel, the chairman of the Democratic Caucus in the House of Representatives—gives an indication of the reactionary social types he is assembling for his administration. As a senior advisor to former President Bill Clinton, he championed law-and-order, "welfare reform" and other reactionary measures aimed at disassociating the Democrats from the liberal reforms of the past.

After leaving the Clinton administration, Emanuel reportedly earned $18 million while employed by the global investment banking firm of Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein in Chicago, where he worked from 1999 to 2002.

During his run for Congress in 2002, Emanuel broke ranks with the Democratic congressional delegation from Illinois and supported the authorization of the war against Iraq, explicitly backing President Bush. Rising to the fourth-highest position in the House Democratic leadership, Emanuel played a key role in the passage of the $700 billion Wall Street bailout.

Emanuel has close ties to Israel and is a leading member of the right-wing Democratic Leadership Council, which includes figures such as the Clintons and Senator Joseph Lieberman. He is expected to play a key role in the selection of cabinet appointees, including the Treasury and defense secretaries. These posts are expected to be announced quickly, in order to reassure the markets and the foreign policy and military establishment.

Among those being considered for the Treasury are former Clinton Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers; Timothy Geithner, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York; and former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker. The latter will forever be identified with the "Volcker Shock" of the early 1980s, when he raised interest rates to 20 percent, deliberately precipitating the destruction of millions of manufacturing jobs and a sharp reduction in the living standards of the American working class. Volcker famously praised Reagan for breaking the 1981 strike of PATCO air traffic controllers, calling his action the most important factor in bringing inflation under control.

With the US military occupations continuing in Iraq and Afghanistan, Reuters reported that Obama was considering keeping Robert Gates on as secretary of defense or bringing in former Navy Secretary Richard Danzig, a close Obama adviser. Others considered for the job include Democratic Senator John Kerry, former diplomat Richard Holbrooke, outgoing Republican Senator Chuck Hagel and former Georgia Democratic Senator Sam Nunn. All have been involved one way or another in the crimes of US imperialism, from the Balkans to Haiti to the Middle East and Central Asia.

In his speech Tuesday, Obama reiterated his commitment to Bush's "war on terror," which has been used as a pretext to assert the geo-political interests of America's ruling elite in energy-rich regions of the world. He issued a warning to "those who would tear this world down--we will defeat you."

Obama also repeated the threadbare claim that US troops had been sent to Iraq and Afghanistan to "risk their lives for us," that is, to protect the American people rather than advance the interests of the American capitalist class. He called for a "new spirit of service, a new spirit of sacrifice"--a reference to some form of military conscription.

Just as on economic policy, the next administration will inevitably clash with voters who thought the election of a Democratic president would lead to an end to the military aggression of the Bush years. Once again the Democrats are moving to dampen these expectations by reasserting their opposition to a "precipitous" withdrawal from Iraq and the need to escalate the "right war" in Afghanistan.

More Of The Same Only Worse An Obama Presidency: More Of The Same Only Worse

More Of The Same Only Worse

By Larry Pinkney

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"I believe that there will ultimately be a clash between the oppressed and those who do the oppressing. I believe that there will be a clash between those who want freedom, justice, and equality for everyone and those who want to continue the system of exploitation. I believe that there will be that kind of clash, but I don't think it will be based on the color of the skin…"
-Malcolm X

If the masses of people in this nation knew or had known the pertinent facts pertaining to the war mongering "we can fight the war better," pro-apartheid Zionist, corporate Wall Street-backed, slippery tongued Barack Obama, it is doubtful they would have been so thoroughly bamboozled and hoodwinked to their own detriment and that of the world. Wall Street and the corporate media, however, have, to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars, engaged in a relentless, ruthless, and absolutely unprecedented campaign of corporate branding and marketing on behalf of Barack Obama, with the peoples of the United States as their targets.

Assuming that the corporate Wall Street elite and its concomitant opinion-forming, omission, and misinformation machinery of the U.S. corporate media successfully installs their favorite choice - Democratic Party Republicrat Barack Obama - as the first colored President of the U.S. Empire, the majority of people in the United States are in for a rude awakening in the form of increased economic austerity, internal political repression, deepened racial disharmony, external U.S. military adventurism, and an endless stream of misleading disinformation from the corporate government. The peoples of the world will face intensified imperialistic and military assault and attempts at U.S. hegemony. This time, however, the imperialism of the U.S. Empire will be conveniently spearheaded, condoned and rationalized by its newest and most potent weapon: the dangerously double-talking "Emperor" in black face - Barack Obama. Moreover, in one fell and foul swoop, the corporate / military elite of the U.S. Empire intends to utilize Barack Obama as the "messiah" (created by none other than corporate America and its corporate media) to neutralize and destroy the ongoing Black liberation struggle for justice and equality in this nation, and in people's liberation struggles throughout the world.

In relative short order - inside the United States itself - under a Barack Obama presidency, the living conditions of the majority of Black, White, Brown, Red, and Yellow peoples will continue to steadily and massively deteriorate while the corporate Wall Street barons prolong their glut of the every day people's finances, resources, hopes, and dreams. Under an Obama presidency those non Blacks who stand in opposition to Barack Obama's de facto pro Wall Street backers and their blood-sucking policies will be branded as racists and traitors, while those Blacks who oppose Obama's policies will be ignored and/or branded as fringe radicals and traitors. Thus, the horrors of the U.S. Empire will continue unabated, and in many respects, under Barack Obama, actually worsen. The blame for the deteriorating economy and continued war will of course quickly be laid by the Obama / Biden regime and the Democratic Party Republicrats on the previous Bush / Cheney regime, despite the fact that it was the complicity of the Democratic Party itself with the Bush / Cheney Republican Republicrat regime that facilitated the despicable policies and practices of the Bush / Cheney regime. The fact is that the Democratic and Republican Parties are de facto Republicrats with the objective of exploiting the majority of people and maintaining U.S. Empire abroad.

After the Democratic Party Republicrats so-called election euphoria and celebrating is over, the Obama / Biden Republicrat regime will get down to the business of placing the ongoing exploitation of the every day people of this nation on fast track. The masses of Black Americans, along with the oppressed and exploited Brown, Red, Yellow, and White peoples of this nation will learn first hand that, notwithstanding the deceptive Obama rhetoric, exploitation nationally and internationally will be intensified. The "clash between those who want freedom, justice, equality for everyone and those who want to continue the system of exploitation" about which Malcolm X referred, will be intensified under Barack Obama, with Obama representing the interests of the oppressors. The political contradictions in this regard will also be increasingly obvious.

Those so-called leftist and progressives who were and are collaborators with U.S. Empire will, for a time, try to pretend that their support of Barack Obama was not a sell out, and that they simply need more time to persuade the U.S. Empire's colored corporate emperor to do the right thing. Meanwhile, Black, Brown, Red, Yellow, and White peoples will be enduring an unprecedented rate of economic and social suffering. The anger of the people will ultimately peak and explode, as a result of having bought into false hope and raised expectations. This is precisely why the U.S. corporate government has already made military contingency plans to contain and massively quash dissention within the United States. Barack Obama will serve to provide his corporate / military masters with colored political cover for political repression in this nation; and he will have already provided a small respite of wiggling room for them in this regard. Nevertheless, as brutal reality forces the proverbial scales of blindness to drop from eyes of the masses, it will become crystal clear that the supposed "change" to which Barack Obama referred in his campaign rhetoric, was nothing more than a vicious ruse of double-speak by him, backed by his corporate and military handlers. Indeed, the emperor will be shown to "have no clothes." But what of the fate of millions of Black, White, Brown, Red, and Yellow peoples inside the U.S.? How many horrible sacrifices will have been, and will yet need to be made by the people in order to get the boot of economic blood-sucking and political repression off their / our necks?

The "clash," to which Malcolm X referred, "between those who want freedom, justice, and equality for everyone and those who want to continue the system of exploitation" will deepen, as will repression and systemic contradictions. The "clash" will have, by necessity, as Malcolm X suggested, gone beyond "the color of the skin." Notwithstanding his double speak rhetoric, it will become clear to people that a president Barack Obama supports and wants to "continue the system of exploitation" at home and abroad. Despite continued double speak and corporate disinformation and misinformation, it will be become undeniably clear that a president Barack Obama is the servant of the corporate/ military / prison apparatus of U.S. Empire, and a key facilitator of exploitation and political repression inside and outside the United States.

Building a real, grass roots peoples' movement inside the United States will then, in some respects, be more challenging but by no means impossible. Notwithstanding the political repression and incessant disinformation that for a certainty will be emanating from the Obama / Biden Democratic Republicrats and their cronies, a genuine peoples' movement will be, of necessity, the order of the day.

It is no mere coincidence that Democratic Party Republicrat, Barack Obama, had the unheard of amount of approximately 600 million dollars in his political campaign coffer compared with fellow Republican Party Republicrat, John McCain's, approximately 100 million campaign coffer dollars. This fact alone should give some crucial insight into the despicable financial role played by corporations, and their outrageous, unacceptable, and massively inordinate amount of influence and control over the electoral system in this so-called democracy. Most of this money is blood money, based upon exploitation from the corporate Wall Street and military corporate elite. This fact alone gives yet another good indication as to what to expect under an Obama presidency. It is totally reprehensible and unacceptable and an utter mockery of democracy.

Solar Power Game-Changer: “Near Perfect” Absorption of Sunlight, From All Angles

Solar Power Game-Changer: “Near Perfect” Absorption of Sunlight, From All Angles

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Researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute have discovered and demonstrated a new method for overcoming two major hurdles facing solar energy. By developing a new antireflective coating that boosts the amount of sunlight captured by solar panels and allows those panels to absorb the entire solar spectrum from nearly any angle, the research team has moved academia and industry closer to realizing high-efficiency, cost-effective solar power.

“To get maximum efficiency when converting solar power into electricity, you want a solar panel that can absorb nearly every single photon of light, regardless of the sun’s position in the sky,” said Shawn-Yu Lin, professor of physics at Rensselaer and a member of the university’s Future Chips Constellation, who led the research project. “Our new antireflective coating makes this possible.”

Results of the year-long project are explained in the paper “Realization of a Near Perfect Antireflection Coating for Silicon Solar Energy,” published this week by the journal Optics Letters.

An untreated silicon solar cell only absorbs 67.4 percent of sunlight shone upon it — meaning that nearly one-third of that sunlight is reflected away and thus unharvestable. From an economic and efficiency perspective, this unharvested light is wasted potential and a major barrier hampering the proliferation and widespread adoption of solar power.

After a silicon surface was treated with Lin’s new nanoengineered reflective coating, however, the material absorbed 96.21 percent of sunlight shone upon it — meaning that only 3.79 percent of the sunlight was reflected and unharvested. This huge gain in absorption was consistent across the entire spectrum of sunlight, from UV to visible light and infrared, and moves solar power a significant step forward toward economic viability.

Lin’s new coating also successfully tackles the tricky challenge of angles.

Most surfaces and coatings are designed to absorb light — i.e., be antireflective — and transmit light — i.e., allow the light to pass through it — from a specific range of angles. Eyeglass lenses, for example, will absorb and transmit quite a bit of light from a light source directly in front of them, but those same lenses would absorb and transmit considerably less light if the light source were off to the side or on the wearer’s periphery.

This same is true of conventional solar panels, which is why some industrial solar arrays are mechanized to slowly move throughout the day so their panels are perfectly aligned with the sun’s position in the sky. Without this automated movement, the panels would not be optimally positioned and would therefore absorb less sunlight. The tradeoff for this increased efficiency, however, is the energy needed to power the automation system, the cost of upkeeping this system, and the possibility of errors or misalignment.

Lin’s discovery could antiquate these automated solar arrays, as his antireflective coating absorbs sunlight evenly and equally from all angles. This means that a stationary solar panel treated with the coating would absorb 96.21 percent of sunlight no matter the position of the sun in the sky. So along with significantly better absorption of sunlight, Lin’s discovery could also enable a new generation of stationary, more cost-efficient solar arrays.

“At the beginning of the project, we asked ‘would it be possible to create a single antireflective structure that can work from all angles?’ Then we attacked the problem from a fundamental perspective, tested and fine-tuned our theory, and created a working device,” Lin said. Rensselaer physics graduate student Mei-Ling Kuo played a key role in the investigations.

Typical antireflective coatings are engineered to transmit light of one particular wavelength. Lin’s new coating stacks seven of these layers, one on top of the other, in such a way that each layer enhances the antireflective properties of the layer below it. These additional layers also help to “bend” the flow of sunlight to an angle that augments the coating’s antireflective properties. This means that each layer not only transmits sunlight, it also helps to capture any light that may have otherwise been reflected off of the layers below it.

The seven layers, each with a height of 50 nanometers to 100 nanometers, are made up of silicon dioxide and titanium dioxide nanorods positioned at an oblique angle — each layer looks and functions similar to a dense forest where sunlight is “captured” between the trees. The nanorods were attached to a silicon substrate via chemical vapor disposition, and Lin said the new coating can be affixed to nearly any photovoltaic materials for use in solar cells, including III-V multi-junction and cadmium telluride.

Along with Lin and Kuo, co-authors of the paper include E. Fred Schubert, Wellfleet Senior Constellation Professor of Future Chips at Rensselaer; Research Assistant Professor Jong Kyu Kim; physics graduate student David Poxson; and electrical engineering graduate student Frank Mont.

Funding for the project was provided by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Basic Energy Sciences, as well as the U.S. Air Force Office of Scientific Research.