Despite the enormous potential of solar power to generate electricity, solar photovoltaic (PV) technology is by far the least utilized renewable energy resource today. We need breakthrough advances in materials to capture and store solar energy so we can economically replace fossil fuels in the next few decades. Prof. Grossman will describe two radically new solar materials and the computational models that led to their discovery.
In his first example, he explains how nanoscale templates are used to create entirely new classes of materials to store solar energy in the chemical bonds of molecules. These materials are 100% renewable, produce no emissions, are easily transportable, rechargeable and provide reversible energy on-demand.
In the second example, Prof. Grossman will discuss innovative designs for more efficient thin-film photovoltaic active layers. These designs focus on new materials based on nanoporous amorphous silicon as well as all-carbon PVs, where the entire active layer is made from a single element.
Jeffrey C. Grossman is a Professor in MIT’s Department of Materials Science and Engineering. He received his Ph.D. in theoretical physics from the University of Illinois, performed postdoctoral work at U.C. Berkeley, and was a Lawrence Fellow at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. Prior to joining MIT in 2009, he was Director of a Nano-science Center and Head of the Computational Nano-science Research Group with a focus on energy applications at U.C. Berkeley. He has published more than 80 scientific papers and holds 8 current or pending patents in the field of solar photovoltaics, hydrogen storage, thermo-electrics and solar fuels.
MIT Inspirational Teachers Awards
We will honor two exceptional high school teachers – Bob Blaschke (Math) of Lynbrook High in San Jose and Ben Chun, MIT BSCSE ’00, (Computer Science) of Galileo Academy of Science & Technology in San Francisco.