Munday, Waks receive $300,000 NSF Grant

The National Science Foundation’s Energy for Sustainability program granted Professors Jeremy Munday (ECE/IREAP) and Edo Waks (ECE) a $300,000 award this month for their research in photovoltaics. The project, titled, “High efficiency photovoltaics through engineering spontaneous emission,” focuses on improving solar cell power conversion efficiency.

Principal Investigator Munday was thrilled to receive the award for his project. “This project is an exciting opportunity for us to explore how engineering quantum mechanical effects, like spontaneous emission, can improve solar cells,” he said. “ Even the best solar cells have a fundamental loss mechanism due to the recombination of carriers, and this particular type of recombination results in the emission of light. By creating periodic arrays of nanostructures, we can modify the rate at which this recombination occurs, which will in turn improve the solar cell's efficiency.”

Along with improving clean energy generation technologies, the project leaders also plan to educate the public and encourage future scientists in local high schools to start research projects of their own.

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Published August 21, 2013