Advancing energy research

Advancing energy research

9:59 PM, 7th November 2011
Advancing energy research
Emily A Weiss, receiver of the Northwestern-Argonne Early Career Investigator Award for energy research.


EVANSTON, US: Emily A Weiss, the Clare Boothe Luce Assistant Professor of Chemistry in the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences at Northwestern University, has been awarded the Northwestern-Argonne Early Career Investigator Award for Energy Research.

Funded by Northwestern’s Initiative for Sustainability and Energy (ISEN) and the US Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory, the $100,000 award honours a scientist working collaboratively between the two institutions on research relating to energy production or use.

Weiss was selected for her proposal “Exciton Dissociation in Single Quantum Dot-Molecule Complexes.” Over the next three years, Weiss and her collaborator at Argonne’s Centre for Nanoscale Materials, Physicist Matthew Pelton, will focus on single crystals of semiconductor material called quantum dots.

Neal Blair, Chair of the selection committee, said that Weiss and Pelton were chosen because of their strong research records and because their research “Constitutes a new direction in the Northwestern-Argonne research partnership.”  

“Quantum dots have many properties that larger ‘chunks’ of the same material don’t have,” Weiss explained, “And these properties make them appealing as solar energy conversion materials.”

The goals of the research, Weiss explained, are to design materials that will exchange electrons, determine the rate and yield of the electron exchanges and apply their findings to optimize electron exchange.

“Electron exchange across interfaces between inorganic nanostructures and organic material is one of the processes that must be studied and optimized in order to exploit special properties of nanostructures for solar energy conversion to electricity and fuels,” said Weiss. “Our project provides a unique way to quantitatively measure the effectiveness of this process for a given nanostructure-organic composite material.”

(C) Northwestern University News




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