Printable Photovoltaics: Scalable Approaches for the Next-Generation of Renewable Energy Technologies

Sky with hand holding material


The goal of this VIP is to develop scalable approaches to fabricate highly efficient and environmentally stable printable photovoltaic devices based on metal halide perovskites (or simply, perovskites). Perovskites are materials with performance characteristics comparable to silicon, but at a much lower weight and cost; as such, perovskite-based technologies have the potential to disrupt the renewable energy space. However, significant efforts are needed to improve the chemical and thermomechanical stability of these materials. These efforts are highly interdisciplinary and provide many opportunities for students to learn with and from each other. The driving questions behind this project are: (1) How are the chemical and mechanical instabilities in printable electronics interrelated? And (2) what are scalable and low-cost approaches to mitigating these instabilities?

Students involved in this project will conduct research on one or more of the following topics:

  • Development of ink formulations with varying chemical compositions
  • Design of components for roll-to-roll printing of photoactive layers
  • Simulating intermolecular interactions in the solution- and solid-states

Issues Involved or Addressed

We will include students in projects that will develop skills applicable to the following areas:

  • Renewable Energy
  • Printable and Flexible Electronics
  • Novel Printing Technologies
  • Electronic device durability

Methods and Tech

Students will learn the numerous skills related to thin-film electronics, including, but not limited to:

  • Perovskite photovoltaic device fabrication
  • Device characterization (J-V measurements, solar simulation)
  • Thin-film spectroscopic characterization (photoluminescence, absorbance)

Academic Majors of Interest

Our research is technical, but highly interdisciplinary. As such, majors of particular interest include:

  • Engineering (Chemical, Materials Science, Mechanical)
  • Chemistry
  • Computer Science/Data Science
  • STEM
  • Honors College

Preferred Interests and Preparation

  • Interest in molecular interactions
  • Interest in renewable energy
  • Willingness to ask lots of questions
  • Enthusiasm, dependability, and independence
  • Experience building mechanical components is a plus
  • Experience coding for control over electronic components is a plus

Application Process

If interested in joining this project, please submit a VIP Interest Form. More information about the Printz Research Group can be found here

Team Advisor