Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors

Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

Home > Press > Improved Self-Assembly of Nanomaterials May Enhance Solar Cells

Chemist David Watson has received a CAREER Award to advance his photochemistry research.
Chemist David Watson has received a CAREER Award to advance his photochemistry research.

Abstract:
Educational part of grant boosts science for Buffalo's Native American students

Improved Self-Assembly of Nanomaterials May Enhance Solar Cells

Buffalo, NY | Posted on April 19th, 2007

Novel, self-assembly techniques for fabricating inorganic nanomaterials that could pave the way for more efficient and powerful solar cells, chemical sensors and detectors currently are being developed by a University at Buffalo chemist.

David F. Watson, Ph.D., an assistant professor in the Department of Chemistry in the University at Buffalo's College of Arts and Sciences, has been awarded a prestigious National Science Foundation CAREER Award to conduct the research.

According to the NSF, the CAREER program recognizes and supports the early career-development activities of teacher-scholars "who are most likely to become the academic leaders of the 21st century."

The research component of the grant involves a new approach to photochemistry, chemical reactions involving light, while the educational component will introduce students in the Buffalo Public Schools from underrepresented groups, including Native Americans, to principles of materials chemistry and scientific research through hands-on science activities.

The grant, which provides $576,100 over five years, will allow Watson and colleagues to conduct research aimed at better controlling the electron transfer reactivity of self-assembled inorganic nanomaterials.

In particular, Watson's group is studying and characterizing photo-induced surface electron transfer reactions occurring within self-assembled inorganic nanomaterials, the reactions that drive solar cells and photocatalysts. The scientists will continue work on a self-assembly technique Watson developed for attaching quantum dots, tiny light-absorbing particles, to metal oxide films.

Using time-resolved spectroscopy, the researchers are able to probe systematically how composition, morphology and physical properties of the materials affect the kinetics and efficiency of electron transfer processes.

The researchers also will study how to improve the targeted patterning of nanoparticles onto metal oxide surfaces.

"This photochemical patterning strategy addresses one of the significant challenges in nanofabrication, to control both short-range and long-range order in nanostructured materials," said Watson.

Short-range order refers to the organization of molecules and materials on the nanometer scale, while long-range order involves pattern formation on larger, even macroscopic, dimensions.

Watson's approach combines the "top-down" and "bottom-up" methods of fabricating nanomaterials into a hybrid technique, in which photochemical reactions are used to organize nanoparticles on surfaces.

Substrates with high surface areas, he explained, allow for optically dense patterns and more efficient light harvesting, thereby potentially increasing the efficiency of solar cells and other devices.

"Because our surface substrate is the photochemically active component, our approach also might enable more widely applicable patterning techiques," he said.

Watson's grant also will provide summer research internships to students at various high schools in Buffalo through collaborations with faculty in the departments of chemistry and physics in the UB College of Arts and Sciences and in the departments of chemical and biological engineering and electrical engineering in the UB School of Engineering and Applied Sciences.

The educational program builds on the extensive partnership that exists between UB's Department of Chemistry and Buffalo Public School 19, a Native American magnet school for middle school students.

Also with the support of the CAREER award, Watson is designing a "writing-intensive" course for advanced undergraduates and graduate students in the Department of Chemistry that will address one of his key educational concerns.

"Chemistry majors typically don't do a lot of writing during their undergraduate or graduate careers, but it's a huge part of what we do as scientists," he said. "The idea is to get the students used to doing a lot of writing and to write mock reviews and critique each others' work."

Watson lives in Williamsville.

####

About University of Buffalo
The University at Buffalo is a premier research-intensive public university, the largest and most comprehensive campus in the State University of New York.

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Ellen Goldbaum



716-645-5000 ext 1415

Copyright © University of Buffalo

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related News Press

Self Assembly

DNA drives design principles for lighter, thinner optical displays: Lighter gold nanoparticles could replace thicker, heavier layered polymers used in displaysí back-reflectors June 27th, 2018

Collaboration yields discovery of 12-sided silica cages June 20th, 2018

Self-assembling 3D battery would charge in seconds May 22nd, 2018

Engineered polymer membranes could be new option for water treatment May 6th, 2018

Announcements

Searching for errors in the quantum world September 21st, 2018

Viral RNA sensing: Optical detection of picomolar concentrations of RNA using switches in plasmonic chirality September 21st, 2018

UT engineers develop first method for controlling nanomotors: Breakthrough for nanotechnology as UT engineers develop first method for switching the mechanical motion of nanomotors September 21st, 2018

Nanobiotix: Update on Head and Neck Phase I/II Trial with NBTXR3 and Other program data presented at ImmunoRad 2018 September 20th, 2018

Grants/Sponsored Research/Awards/Scholarships/Gifts/Contests/Honors/Records

UT engineers develop first method for controlling nanomotors: Breakthrough for nanotechnology as UT engineers develop first method for switching the mechanical motion of nanomotors September 21st, 2018

Halas wins American Chemical Society Award in Colloid Chemistry: Rice University nanophotonics pioneer honored for colloid research September 18th, 2018

New photonic chip promises more robust quantum computers September 14th, 2018

A Comprehensive Guide: The Future of Nanotechnology September 13th, 2018

Solar/Photovoltaic

September 5th, 2018

NUST MISIS scientists present metamaterial for solar cells and nanooptics July 23rd, 2018

Northwestern researchers achieve unprecedented control of polymer grids: Materials could find applications in water purification, solar energy storage, body armor June 22nd, 2018

Team achieves two-electron chemical reactions using light energy, gold May 15th, 2018

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE



  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More











ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project