2014 Graduate Fellows / Graduate Fellows

Trevor Martin

Graduate Student, Materials Science & Engineering

Using polymeric sulfur as a cheap sulfur source for metal sulfides

Our work focuses on making cheap, environmentally friendly solar cells that can be made simply and rapidly using reclaimed waste materials. Vast amounts of elemental sulfur are produced as a byproduct of petroleum refining processes and are readily stockpiled on site in giant piles, left sitting as a potentially harmful waste material that is difficult to dispose of. We are developing ways to utilize this waste material in novel ways to produce new sulfur based polymers that can be processed in a manner analogous to typical thermoplastic materials. Moreover, we have developed a method in which these sulfur polymers can be used as a feedstock to produce cheap and environmentally friendly solar cells. I am excited to be involved in the excellent body of research that takes place at the CEI and I look forward to continually working on projects that can help meet some of our energy production challenges in a sustainable way.

“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.