Here Comes the Sun: Engineering New Solar Technologies at the Molecular Scale

November 8, 2013

The sun is an almost limitless source of clean energy—if only we could capture that energy effectively. Though solar cells have been around for over 50 years, so far no one has been able to make them cheaply enough and efficient enough for truly widespread use. But by starting small, using either nanocrystals or organic polymers, Hugh Hillhouse and Christine Luscombe hope to make solar cell manufacturing simpler and more reliable while adhering to green manufacturing methods. Their approach, based on abundant raw materials, also does this much more cheaply than is currently possible. Hear them describe how molecular engineering has the potential to make solar technology accessible to all.
Hugh Hillhouse, Rehnberg Chair Professor, Chemical Engineering University of Washington
Christine Luscombe, Associate Professor, Materials Science & Engineering University of Washington