Published on October 4, 2013 at 3:01 AM
The Kavli Foundation has endowed a new institute at the University of California, Berkeley, and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) to explore the basic science of how to capture and channel energy on the molecular or nanoscale, with the potential for discovering new ways of generating energy for human use.
The new Kavli institute will be lead by Paul Alivisatos, who has also been a member of the Kavli Prize committee in nanoscience.
The Kavli Energy NanoSciences Institute (Kavli ENSI), announced today (Thursday, Oct. 3), will be supported by a $20 million endowment, with The Kavli Foundation providing $10 million and UC Berkeley raising equivalent matching funds. The Kavli Foundation will also provide additional start-up funds for the institute. The Kavli ENSI will explore fundamental issues in energy science, using cutting-edge tools and techniques developed to study and manipulate nanomaterials - stuff with dimensions a thousand times smaller than the width of a human hair - to understand how solar, heat and vibrational energy are captured and converted into useful work by plants and animals or novel materials.
"The field of nanoscience is poised to change the very foundations of how we should think about future energy conversion systems," said Kavli ENSI Director Paul Alivisatos.
"I am delighted to welcome the Kavli ENSI into the community of Kavli institutes," said Fred Kavli, Founder and Chairman of The Kavli Foundation. "By exploring the basic science of energy conversion in biological systems, as well as building entirely new hybrid and perhaps even completely artificial systems, the Kavli ENSI is positioned to revolutionize our thinking about the science of energy, and is positioned to do the kind of basic research that will ultimately make this a better world for all of us."
The Kavli ENSI will be the fifth nanoscience institute established by The Kavli Foundation, joining Kavli Institutes at the California Institute of Technology, Cornell University, Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands and Harvard University.
Source: Kavli Foundation