University of California, Riverside

Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

Electrical Engineering alumnus Sumit Chaudhary Wins NSF CAREER Award

Electrical Engineering alumnus Sumit Chaudhary Wins NSF CAREER Award

Sumit Chaudhary EE alumnus Sumit Chaudhary won the prestigious NSF award for the project entitled “CAREER: Utilizing Ferroelectrics for Multifaceted Device Engineering of Polymer Solar Cells.” The objective of this research is to initiate a new paradigm in organic photovoltaics for achieving higher power conversion efficiencies by combining ferroelectrics with conjugated-polymer based photovoltaic devices. The approach utilizes the unique properties of ferroelectrics, such as the high dielectric-constant and permanent reversible dipoles, to perturb the optoelectronic phenomena in the bulk and at the interfaces of organic photovoltaic devices. Within the bulk of the photovoltaic layers, the local electric field and high dielectric-constant of the ferroelectrics will facilitate increased electron-hole pair dissociation, altered optical spectra, and enhanced charge transport. At the organic/electrode interfaces, these dipoles will enable increased charge collection and higher terminal voltage. The proposed marriage of ferroelectrics and conjugated-polymers also is expected to create new paradigms of hybrid photovoltaic/piezoelectric/pyroelectric devices for energy harvesting from multiple sources. Prof. Chaudhary received his Ph.D. in 2006 under the supervision of Prof. M. Ozkan and joined Iowa State University where he is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.

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