Increasing greenhouse production by spectral-shifting and unidirectional light-extracting photonics

Lihua Shen, Runnan Lou, Yujin Park, Yuning Guo, Eric J. Stallknecht, Yinzi Xiao, David Rieder, Ronggui Yang, Erik S. Runkle, Xiaobo Yin

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    32 Scopus citations


    Improving photosynthesis and light capture increases crop yield and paves a sustainable way to meet the growing global food demand. Here we introduce a spectral-shifting microphotonic thin film as a greenhouse envelope that can be scalably manufactured for augmented photosynthesis. By breaking the intrinsic propagation symmetry of light, the photonic microstructures can extract 89% of the internally generated light and deliver most of that in one direction towards photosynthetic organisms. The microphotonic film augments lettuce production by more than 20% in both indoor facilities with electric lighting and in a greenhouse with natural sunlight, offering the possibility of increasing crop production efficiency in controlled environments.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)434-441
    Number of pages8
    JournalNature Food
    Issue number6
    StatePublished - Jun 2021

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Food Science
    • Animal Science and Zoology
    • Agronomy and Crop Science


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