11/13/2008

Award to Forward Plass, Student Research

  • Kate Plass  

Kate Plass, assistant professor of chemistry, has received a Cottrell College Science Award of $45,000 from the Research Corporation for Science Advancement. The grant is for two years.

The title of the project is “Synthesis and Photoelectrochemical Characterization of Earth-Abundant Semiconductors for Solar Energy Conversion.” This project complements one funded by the Dreyfus Award, which Plass received earlier this year. The focus of this project is the photo-electrochemical characterization of the small semiconductor particles that her student, Dennis Malamut '09, has been synthesizing.

To test whether these materials will work well in a solar energy conversion device, Plass and Malamut must first construct a prototype device incorporating these materials as the light absorbers. They will then irradiate the device with light and examine the current generated when different voltages are applied.

The award funds will be used to pay students and buy supplies and instruments.

Plass and her students are developing readily available materials for a new form of solar cell. Earlier this year, Plass received a $30,000 startup grant from The Camille & Henry Dreyfus Foundation to get her research off the ground.

To read more about Plass’ work click here.

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