Fatemeh Barati, a PhD student in physics, won the Ken Hass Outstanding Student Paper award recognizing the best student paper that addresses the subject of industrial applications of physics at the American Physical Society meeting in March.
Inspired by this year's theme of "Big Data and Physics: Bits to Knowledge," Barati's research focused on recent advances in solar photovoltaics.
"The results of my research on the discovery of highly efficient photovoltaics that exhibit 350% enhancement of efficiency of these photocells was my main inspiration to apply," she said. "It strongly correlated with the Forum's objective of bringing applied physics into industry and taking advantage of it into every day life."
Barati's paper titled “Hot-carrier enhanced interlayer electron-hole pair multiplication in 2D semiconductor heterostructure photocells,” introduces a new class of ultra-efficient photovoltaics through a quantum mechanical process that could revolutionize the way solar energy is collected. Her paper was previously published in the Nature Nanotechnology Journal on December 2017.
"Through solar cells, we are increasingly generating power from sunlight, so they can herald a revolutionary direction in photodetector and solar cell design," said Barati. "These photocells can be an excellent successor for other types of energy sources. Since they are made of atomic layers, there are many applications for it. They could be made to bend and flex without breaking, this could allow them to be incorporated into solar cell sheets that you could roll up for storage or even used in solar panels integrated in clothing. It could be used in supercomputers, military satellite uses, and even in everyday life."
Barati's current research goals are directed toward exploring the optoelectronic properties of 2D semiconductors, more specifically TMD-based heterostructures, with Dr. Nathan Gabor in the Quantum Materials Optoelectronics Lab.
For more information on the award click here.