First UROP: Thermophotovoltaics

I apologize for not having posted anything in a while. For one, I've already become quite busy, so I haven't had much time to do stuff like this. For another, I have been (and still am, as of now) sick for over a week, so I've just been trying to rest whenever I can.
This week, though, I started my first UROP! Yay! It regards modeling new thermophotovoltaics (thermal solar cells) that use photonic crystals. Photonics are to light what electronics are to electrons, so the idea is that photonic crystals will give enough fine-grained control over photons to make capturing more parts of incoming solar radiation even easier and more efficient; this will of course increase the overall efficiency of solar cells too. Right now, photonic crystals have a lot of room for improvement, and ceramic-metal composites called cermets are currently the best at selectively absorbing different wavelengths of solar radiation, but the idea is that with time and many improvements, photonic crystals will be the way to go.
Currently, I'm just reading up on the basics of photonic crystals, but I can't wait to begin working on a topic and in a group that have both been recently featured in Slashdot, and which will probably have a pretty big impact on renewable energy sources!