– Rainbow of Emission –
Department – Chemistry and Biochemistry (Graduate Student) –
Research Field – Molecular Photophysics –
How image was captured – Cellphone Camera –
Research Impact & Significance – This photograph depicts a spectrum of emitting dyes that can be used as sensitizers in dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs). My research goals are focused on sustainable energy and, in particular, strategies for making more efficient DSSCs. Most commercially available DSSCs are limited to a maximum theoretical efficiency of ~33% because they are unable to absorb and convert large portions of sunlight (i.e. low energy photons) into electricity. My research is on the application of photon upconversion (TTA-UC)—combining two or more low energy photons to generate a higher energy photon—to harness this previously transmitted light and increase solar cell efficiencies to above 43%. The abundant and unlimited nature of sunlight leaves little doubt that solar cell technology will play an increasingly pivotal role in the provision of the worlds energy needs.