Energy Research at the University of Washington

Qifeng Zhang

Energy Research Area: Nanomaterials and devices for energy harvesting and storage; Dye-sensitized solar cells

Research Assistant Professor
College of Engineering
Materials Science and Engineering

We are developing new nanomaterials with novel properties for electronics, optics, and photoelectronics applications. Due to unique features in structure, these nanomaterials show performance better than bulk materials by, for example, providing large surface area and better electrical transport, or generating quantum confinement effect and photonic localization effect. These advantages of nanomaterials have resulted in potential applications in energy harvesting and storage, photocatalyst, hydrogen generation, and chemical sensors. One of the highlights of our recent research is that the efficiency of dye-sensitized solar cells has been improved by more than twice through employing a kind of new nanostructure, so-called aggregates of nanocrystallites, to replace the nanoparticles used in conventional photoelectrode films. This technology is anticipated to be also effective in enhancing optical absorption and thus the conversion efficiency of other types of solar cells. Our current work is also aiming to extend such nanostructure for lithium ion battery and photocatalyst application.

Aggregates of ZnO nanocrystallites featuring highly porous structure and submicron size comparable with the wavelengths of visible light
Aggregates of ZnO nanocrystallites featuring highly porous structure and submicron size comparable with the wavelengths of visible light

Campus and Other Collaborators/Partners

Record last updated on November 29th 2011 PDT.