*Nanostructures for Efficient Light-to-Heat Conversion*
The core of light-to-heat conversion is the design and synthesis of light-absorbing materials. We mainly focus on plasmonic and carbon nanomaterials. Through structural design and optimization, we should synthesize solar absorbers with broadband and strong absorption and low emission. A localized surface plasmon (LSPR) is the result of the confinement of a surface plasmon in a nanoparticle of size comparable to or smaller than the wavelength of light used to excite the plasmon. When a small spherical metallic nanoparticle is irradiated by light, the oscillating electric field causes the conduction electrons to oscillate coherently. When the electron cloud is displaced relative to its original position, a restoring force arises from Coulombic attraction between electrons and nuclei. This force causes the electron cloud to oscillate. The oscillation frequency is determined by the density of electrons, the effective electron mass, and the size and shape of the charge distribution. The LSPR has two important effects: electric fields near the particle's surface are greatly enhanced and the particle's optical absorption has a maximum at the plasmon resonant frequency. Surface plasmon resonance can also be tuned based on the shape of the nanoparticle. The plasmon frequency can be related to the metal dielectric constant. The enhancement falls off quickly with distance from the surface and, for noble metal nanoparticles, the resonance occurs at visible wavelengths. Localized surface plasmon resonance creates brilliant colors in metal colloidal solutions.