PI: Prof. Daniel Gamelin
Start-Up Company Name: BlueDot Photonics, Inc.
Lab/Project Website: https://depts.washington.edu/gmrg/
Work Location: Chemistry Building, University of Washington
- Standard work hours: Monday-Friday 9:00am – 5:00pm
- Sub-group research update: Monday at 10:30am
- Research Group meetings: Friday at 3:30pm (optional)
Overall Program Goal: BlueDot Photonics is developing technology to boost the performance of solar photovoltaic cells using proprietary quantum-cutting coatings. Developed in the Gamelin Lab at the University of Washington, quantum-cutting coatings are deposited onto commercial solar cells and “shape” the solar spectrum striking the cell. To date, R&D has focused on materials development and developing new materials deposition techniques. In addition, proof-of-principle quantum cutting solar cells have been fabricated in the lab, but in-house calculations predict that much higher performance can be achieved. Next key steps include improving solar cell efficiency and understanding the short- and long-term stability of quantum-cutting coating under different atmospheric conditions.
Intern Project Description and Responsibilities: The primary project the intern will work on will be optimizing quantum-cutting solar photovoltaic device performance. This will include:
- Characterization of quantum-cutting solar cells by measuring current-voltage scans (power conversion efficiency) and external quantum efficiency.
- Monitoring device performance over a given period of time to determine possible degradation mechanisms.
- Providing assistance with synthesis of quantum-cutting coating single-source precursors (measuring chemicals and operating mixing equipment).
- Providing assistance with deposition of quantum-cutting coatings.
- Working up/analyzing solar cell data and compiling data as charts/graphs for presentations/reports.
- Compiling a weekly report of work completed and planned work.
- Maintaining a clear and concise laboratory notebook detailing work performed.
Pre-requisites: The intern should have a general understanding of semiconductors and the physics of photovoltaic cells. Previous experience with thin-film solution- or physical vapor deposition techniques (spincoating, thermal evaporation, sputtering, pulsed laser deposition), basic semiconductor materials characterization techniques (XRD, SEM, absorption/photoluminescence spectroscopy), and/or solar cell characterization techniques (current-voltage scans and external quantum efficiency) is a plus. Previous experience coding in LabView and performing data analysis in Igor Pro also a plus. Intern will be trained to use all relevant instrumentation and software to execute the research project.
Level of Independence: The intern can expect to have a well-structured research project with a clear research objective. The intern will undergo hands-on training with state-of the-art laboratory instrumentation and can expect to work alongside supervisors on a daily basis for material synthesis and coating deposition. The intern can also expect to perform device characterization and analyze/work-up data individually. Depending on the progression of the research project, the intern may have the opportunity to pursue self-directed materials development or solar cell research.
- Fabrication and analysis of next-generation photovoltaic cells.
- Operation and maintenance of home-built instrumentation including hardware and software.
- Application of materials science and engineering concepts to solve real-world problems.