Luminescent solar concentrators (LSCs) are economically viable solar energy conversion devices that contain luminophore waveguides used to spectrally and spatially concentrate sunlight. Doped quantum dots (QDs) are attractive luminophores for LSCs due to their solution processability, high quantum yields, photostability, and tunable electronic properties. My research goal is to develop synthetic methods for new doped quantum dot (QD) luminophores for use in ultrahigh efficiency LSCs. In order to advance our ability to synthesize doped QDs, I am studying the mechanism by which dopant atoms diffuse through the host nanocrystal lattice. First, I am focusing on tracking the diffusion of Mn2+ in CdSe QDs, and later will apply this knowledge to dope CdSe with Yb3+. Yb3+ incorporation in QD LSCs should increase performance relative to Mn2+ devices by preventing efficiency drops due to heating in the device. After I finish my dissertation, I plan to stay in academia, with a focus on teaching at a primarily undergraduate institution.
Advisor: Daniel Gamelin, Chemistry