Solar energy researcher to speak Jan. 23

January 21, 2014 | Events, Research, UToday, Natural Sciences and Mathematics
By Staff

A senior research fellow with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory will speak at the Physics and Astronomy Colloquium Thursday, Jan. 23.



Arthur J. Nozik, known for his research on solar energy materials, will speak at 4 p.m. in McMaster Hall Room 1005.

The colloquium is organized jointly by The University of Toledo and Bowling Green State University.

Nozik, who also is a chemistry professor at the University of Colorado in Boulder, focuses his research on processes that, if harnessed, could significantly increase the amount of power produced by typical solar cells.

Photovoltaic solar cells are designed to efficiently produce electrical power directly from sunlight, but these cells also generate considerable heat. A process first predicted and proposed by Nozik, known as multiple exciton generation, occurs efficiently in semiconductor quantum dots. With these very small crystalline bits of material, sunlight generates more electrical power and less heat power.

If research on multiple exciton generation and a related process occurring in molecules known as singlet fission continue to advance, then tomorrow’s solar cells could produce less heat and more electrical power than is possible today.