I recently served as the student leader for a student technology proposal to acquire funding to obtain a photo-induced force microscope (PiFM), a unique new commercial instrument capable of obtaining high resolution chemical maps on the nanoscale. I plan to use the PiFM (arriving late 2016) for the first time to map chemical heterogeneity in thin film semiconductors used for photovoltaics. Already, we have preliminary data showing that we can resolve phase separation in mixed perovskites using nanoscale IR absorption. I plan to correlate these chemical heterogeneities with electrical properties and structural differences. These findings have the potential to establish a more complete, fundamental understanding of thin film semiconductors, expanding our knowledge of the qualities underpinning high performing thin film photovoltaics. This research has the ability to shape the development of commercially available solar cells in the future.
Advisor David Ginger -Chemistry