2016 Graduate Fellows

Jose Araujo

One approach to solar energy capture and conversion is through luminescent solar concentrators (LSCs). LSCs are translucent devices embedded with luminophores that concentrate light at their edges. Photovoltaic devices can be coupled to the edges of LSCs, where they collect the concentrated light to produce a current. Because they are semi-transparent, passive, work well with indirect light, and can be made to cover large areas, LSCs occupy a unique application space for solar energy conversion technologies. For LSCs to work efficiently, their luminophores must emit light at a lower energy (longer wavelength) than the light they absorb. My research will focus on making new semiconductor nanomaterials that incorporate impurity ions for use as luminophores. Many desirable impurity ions can be identified that have sharp emission lines, but attempts to incorporate most of these into traditional semiconductor nanocrystals have thus far been unsuccessful. By developing new doping chemistries, it should be possible to develop a new class of sensitized nano-emitters with extended absorption throughout the visible range, and low reabsorption of their own emission. Such materials would be strong candidates for application in various LSC architectures.

Advisor: Daniel Gamelin

“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.