2015 Graduate Fellows

Kyle Seyler

Efficient and cheap solar cells are critical to achieving sustainable energy production in the future. The development of new materials is a key driving force behind recent progress in solar cell technology. My research focuses on understanding the basic optoelectronic physics of graphene nanoribbons (GNRs) for solar energy production. GNRs are ultranarrow, single-atom-thick forms of the well-known and abundant graphite. In this nanoscale form, the optical and electronic properties of graphite change drastically in ways that are very useful for harvesting solar energy. However, GNRs have yet to be explored as a possible solar cell material. Our studies will pave the way for future application of GNRs in next-generation solar cells.

Advisor: Xiaodong Xu, Physics

Kyle’s Product of Lasting Value is a Lesson on Drawing Circuits with Graphite

Read about Kyle’s research in the Xu lab in our January 2018 highlights.


“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