2014 Graduate Fellows / Graduate Fellows

Durmus Karatay

Graduate Student, Chemistry

Imaging Plasmonic Hot Spots in Solar Cell Active Layers

Do you know that commercial solar cells only have an efficiency of 22%, where the theoretical achievable efficiency is around 29%? Most of the energy is lost as light passes through solar cells. Therefore, letting light stay longer in solar cells can boost the efficiency to its limit. The goal of my research is squeezing out the last bit of performance from solar cells using small metal particles as reflectors and/or scatterers. This way we can push the limit of energy conversion and get the maximum efficiency possible from solar cells. Since I plan to continue my efforts for making the world more energy-efficient place in industry, CEI helps me connect with fellow researchers in the field.

“Providing clean energy to the inhabitants of our planet is a major challenge to future generations. The University of Washington is to be congratulated for establishing an Institute where faculty and students can work together to tackle the difficult global challenge of energy sustainability.”
– Mildred Dresselhaus, Professor of Physics and Electrical Engineering, Emerita and Institute Professor, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
“Energy competition is opening up in a variety of ways, the push for carbon control will continue, and the rate of technology advancement is exponential. All the things I’ve seen at the CEI are just perfect for the way we see things going in energy. You guys are at the cutting edge. We’re counting on you.”
– Ronald Litzinger, President, Edison Energy
Since its founding the Clean Energy Institute has contributed more than $1.1 million toward the education of 66 STEM scholars and recruitment of 12 students through our fellowship programs.