UDC receives 400,000 dollars for research and study to improve the efficiency and stability of perovskite solar cells
UDC receives $400,000 for research and study to improve the efficiency and stability of perovskite solar cells
UDC is among seven Minority-Serving Institutions (MSIs) selected by the Department of Energy (DOE) for a solar research funding pilot program. DOE is working in collaboration with the MSI STEM Research and Development Consortium (MSDRC) in awarding $3.2 million for eight projects at seven MSIs through the Science and Technology Research Partnership program.
The selected projects span a wide array of solar energy technology research areas: from photovoltaics (PV) and concentrating solar-thermal power (CSP) technologies to increasing energy resilience and ensuring a just clean energy transition. DOE’s Solar Energy Technologies Office partnered with MSRDC to develop the pilot program to build relationships between the DOE and MSIs. This program seeks to serve as a template for other DOE offices to expand their outreach and research portfolios.
UDC received $400,000 for research and study to improve the efficiency and stability of perovskite solar cells for the two-year program.
Solar photovoltaic (PV) installations are rising across the country, turning sunshine into energy with semiconductors. Whether on rooftops, in fields or along roadsides, with the help of UDC research in the pilot program, they will extend their reach.
“This pilot program is a great opportunity to support and expand a diverse STEM workforce, prioritizing minority-serving institutions in DOE’s research ecosystem,” said Kelly Speakes-Backman, principal deputy assistant secretary for the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. “We’re proud to partner with these researchers as they bring innovative ideas and deep scientific expertise to advance solar energy on behalf of all Americans.”
The pilot program will engage new researchers and expand solar research expertise at MSIs, which have been historically underrepresented in the DOE research portfolio. The selected institutions represent several categories of MSIs: Historically, Black Colleges and Universities, Hispanic-Serving Institutions and Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander-Serving Institutions. “I’m really excited about this grant and our ability to contribute to this field,” said Dr. Devdas Shetty, dean of the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS). “The efficiency of solar cells in the market is very low, about 16-20 percent. This project will work toward increasing efficiency and making it more reliable.
“There are two major advantages of UDC’s participation in this program: Our faculty and students will be able to contribute to improving this technology in U.S. semiconductors. Secondly, our students are gaining experience to prepare them for opportunities in the job market.”
Shetty said graduate and undergraduate students would have the opportunity to participate through research, scholarships and paid internships. In addition, faculty members will be able to share their findings through publications. Assistant professor Dr. Hongmei Dang, UDC Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, is the lead for the project.
“The thrust toward solar energy will be high in the next few years,” Shetty said. “I expect this area to grow, and there will be a need for more Ph.Ds. More UDC students will be prepared.”Learn more about solar energy, and click here for more information about SEAS.