This interdisciplinary project will incorporate the disciplines of Engineering, Chemistry, and Physics. However, the project is specifically housed within the Hope College Department of Engineering. Interested students must reach out to Dr. Christians in person or via email prior to applying.
Halide perovskites are semiconductors with many interesting properties. Semiconductors, such as the silicon in solar cells and computer chips, the gallium nitride in LEDs, selenium in digital x-ray detectors, and the zinc oxide in sunscreen, are all around us. Halide perovskites are a class of semiconductors which have the general chemical formula ABX3 and widely tunable properties. A major advantage over many semiconductors is that halide perovskites can be solution-processed, meaning that they can be printed or coated from "inks".
This project will focus on exploring the possibility of creating color changing solar windows, solar cells which could switch between dark/colored and clear/transparent, depending on the conditions. By changing color, a solar cell could be effective at harvesting solar energy without sacrificing the view.
For this project, one specific mechanism will be explored which can provide a color change in halide perovskites. Work is ongoing to understand how to best design the materials and eventual devices to make a robust product which could reliably switch between color states without degrading. Various characterization techniques will be used to explore material properties and investigate mechanisms.
Students who are new to the project will begin work (approximately 2-3 hrs per week) during the Spring semester. This will include learning some of the basics of their project as well as getting initial training on some of the laboratory techniques that they will use in their research. Full time summer research will last a total of 10 weeks and is expected to begin on 5/09/22 and run until 7/15/22. There is flexibility with student vacation plans or other commitments during this time. Students working on this project will gain experience with materials synthesis, and an array of materials characterization techniques. This work will require students to participate in all aspects of the research process including, the development of synthesis and characterization protocols, review of scientific literature, data acquisition, data modeling and analysis, construction of experimental equipment, and research presentations.