A material scientist from the University of New Orleans has received a $10,000 grant from the Louisiana Board of Regents to help develop a new solar device at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Colorado.
Weilie Zhou, who is also an associate professor with the university’s Advanced Materials Research Institute, will use the grant to continue working in the lab this summer alongside Sarah Wozny, a UNO doctoral student in chemistry, in collaboration with Kai Zhu, a senior scientist with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.
According to UNO, the researchers will work on fabricating and characterizing a new hybrid solar cell that uses environmentally-friendly inorganic semiconductor nanomaterials, which are chemical substances or materials manufactured and used on a small scale. All the research will be done with state-of-the-art equipment in the lab.
The ultimate goal of the project is to make stable, low-cost, high-efficiency solar devices through understanding how the charge transport mechanism works to maximize efficiency.