University of Toronto
Dr. David Sinton is an international expert in the field of optofluidics, which involves manipulating light and nanoparticles to control the flow of fluids. These tools and techniques are used primarily to develop medical diagnostic equipment, but Dr. Sinton is demonstrating how they can greatly improve our ability to harness energy from the sun and even create entirely new forms of energy production.
His pioneering work has resulted in a new class of microfluidic fuel cells that hold the record for energy density and eliminate the need to make trade-offs between power output and fuel efficiency.
Sinton’s team has also demonstrated how the process of photosynthesis using light-harvesting bacteria is a more economical and environmentally friendly way to produce biofuel than relying on food crops or other plant matter.
The next step in his research is developing a platform to maximize the photosynthetic productivity of micro-organisms for solar fuel generation—a potential 10,000-fold improvement over current methods.