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Research Overview

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Perovskite Photovoltaics

The impressive carrier lifetimes and diffusion lengths of perovskites, coupled with their optoelectronic resilience to defects, and amenability to remarkably simple solution-processing set them apart from other active PV layers in the solar field. These properties present a special opportunity for rethinking solar cell architectures allowing for innovations that will result in efficient low-cost cells with improved service lifetimes, essentially solving the mechanical and thermal instability in current monolithic layer perovskite architectures.

Scalable Battery Design

Solid state batteries (SSBs) have the potential to radically transform energy storage for lighter weight and safer consumer electronics, vehicles, and medical devices. Scalable synthesis of SSBs allows for cheaper, rapid deployment of novel technologies for research and development of new battery chemistries, device architectures, and fabrication techniques. We aim to develop SSB technologies with an emphasis on manufacturability and stability. 

Skin Biomechanics

Using novel thin-film measurement methodologies and computational models, we characterize the biomechanical properties and behaviors of human skin. We are particularly interested in how changes to these properties relate to perception and damage.

Molecular Modeling and Design of Hybrids

We address fundamental questions related to the mechanical and fracture properties of molecular hybrid materials that have applications in emerging aerospace and microelectronic technologies.

Solar Reliability

Our “solar reliability” area focuses on studying and modeling the thermomechanical and photochemical reliability of silicon photovoltaic (PV) module components, primarily on the three layers of glass – encapsulant – PV cell. We employ a fracture mechanics based approach to understand the fundamental degradation mechanisms of module materials and interfaces. This includes significant participation from national labs and industry collaborators, who provide us with the most modern and relevant solar technologies.

Functional and Transparent Coatings

We use an atmospheric pressure plasma discharge to fragment and subsequently polymerize small molecules into highly transparent and functional thin films. We constantly develop new processes for the growth of a wide range of materials, including silica, metal oxides, nitrides, and polymer coatings, onto both organic and inorganic substrates.