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Date: Tuesday, February 3, 2015
Time: 11:00 am
Speaker: Stacey Bent, Stanford
Title: Improving Energy Conversion with Nanoscale Materials
Location: 67-3111 Chemla Room


With the intensifying global need for alternative energy, there is strong interest in new approaches to materials for sustainable energy devices. Underlying a diverse set of energy conversion devices are similar physical and chemical phenomena, many of which can be controlled with nanoscale materials. This talk will describe research on nanoscale materials for solar photovoltaics and solar fuel production. Atomic layer deposition (ALD) is used to generate the nanoscale materials with a high level of control over composition, structure, and thickness. The first application that will be described is photovoltaics, in which ALD is used to deposit different components of solar cells, including recombination barriers in sensitized solar cells and the absorber in quantum dot solar cells. In a second application, nanometer thick electrocatalyst layers of earth abundant materials are deposited and shown to be active for the oxygen evolution reaction, an important reaction in the conversion of sunlight to fuels. The potential of nanoscale materials synthesis to impact energy conversion applications will be discussed.