2018 Graduate Fellows

Monica Esopi

My anticipated research will focus on designing and fabricating large area nanopatterned metal films for incorporation, as a transparent electrode, into organic solar cells. In addition to replacing brittle, expensive, but commonly-used indium tin oxide (ITO) with a cheaper, flexible option, nanopatterned films will also provide enhancements to device performance through surface plasmonics and hot electron generation. This would enable the use of thinner active layers by improving charge collection without diminishing light absorption, which is the typical tradeoff in organic solar cell optimization. I will investigate the fundamental light-matter interactions and the physical processes governing device performance via an integrated computational and experimental approach. I will develop and optimize a facile and cost-effective fabrication process for large area metallic nanopatterns utilizing a variety of tools, some within the Washington Clean Energy Testbeds. The accomplishment of both of these tasks would have significant impacts in the solar energy field.

Advisor: Qiuming Yu – Chemical Engineering

“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