Green Nano and the Holy Grail

Location: Marina Ballroom D Level: Intermediate

One tenth of 1% of the sun’s power is enough to power 100% of the planet’s energy needs.

Green Nano is the breakthrough and a reason to be extremely optimistic about cracking the hardware, software, and materials side of this challenge.

HP Labs work in Green Nano has the potential to change the future of the environment from a material, economic, and functional perspective and thereby shift the price performance payoff in ways that will enable us to be green in both business and life in meaningful ways.

Solar cells and Nano sensors are just a few of the advancements HP Labs is working on that will enable us to dramatically reduce not only power consumption but the entire power/performance/cost equation and effectively address the energy challenge we all face.

Stan Williams, Senior HP Fellow, will give a state of the world from his perspective on nanotechnology with a focus on HP’s four most significant streams of work in the Green Nano arena.

These price performance shifts will ultimately lead to large scale business and human payoff and we hope the tipping point we are all waiting for in making green tech standard practice in business and life.

Williams’ team is working on four major streams of research he will discuss:

  • Solar Cells: Solar cells create the opportunity for high efficiency harvesting of sunlight and produce “clean energy” at a cost of pennies per cell.
  • Nano-scale Devices: These create low power electronics that will enable zero power sleep in the world’s largest data centers and applications like soil measurement of crops before watering or fertilizing.
  • Nano Sensors: For the first time, environmental hazards could be detected in the field in seconds with significant implications for national security and detection of and response to environment hazards.
  • Nanophotonic devices: NPD dramatically improve the performance/cost and performance/power ratios of computers and eliminate redundant data transport issues
Photo of Stan Williams

Stan Williams

Hewlett-Packard Labs

R. Stanley Williams is an HP Senior Fellow at Hewlett-Packard Laboratories and founding Director of the HP Quantum Science Research (QSR) group, with more than 50 scientists and engineers working in areas of fundamental physical sciences.

Established in 1994, QSR is focused on preparing HP for the challenges and opportunities ahead in electronic, photonic and mechanical device technology as features continue to shrink to the nanometer-size scale, where quantum mechanics becomes important.

Williams is one of just five active Senior Fellows of a total technical staff of more than 40,000 at HP. For the past 30 years, his primary scientific research has been in the areas of solid-state chemistry and physics, and their applications to technology. This has evolved into the areas of nanostructures and chemically-assembled materials, with an emphasis on the thermodynamics of size and shape.

Most recently, he has examined the fundamental limits of information and computing, which has led to his current research in nano-electronics and -photonics.


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