Economically harvesting and storing energy from renewable sources represents a grand challenge to applied physics. Unprecedented control and characterization of materials at the nanoscale opens up new opportunities to meet this challenge. Our projects represent the theoretical contribution to this frontier. We apply multiscale numerical and analytical techniques in order to correlate microscopic processes (such as electron transfer at an interface) with overall macroscopic device behavior (measured in power conversion efficiency, for example). The systems we focus on are photovoltaics, and Li-ion batteries. We study microscopic processes with techniques such as density function theory, and incorporate knowledge of these processes into numerical, systems-level device models, as well as analytic toy models that illuminate the essential physics of the systems.
Boukai A, Haney P, Katzenmeyer A, Gallatin GM, Talin AA, Yang P: Chemical Physics Letters 501(4): 153-158, 2011
Ruzmetov D, Oleshko VP, Haney PM, Lezec HJ, Karki K, Baloch KH, Agrawal AK, Davydov AV, Krylyuk S, Liu Y, Huang JY, Tanase M, Cumings J, Talin AA: Nano letters 12(1): 505-511, 2011
Theoretical physics; Condensed matter; Renewable energy; Nanotechnology; Photovoltaics; Battery;