Rensselaer

Research

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Energy Materials


Girl working with cameraDevelopment of novel energy materials is critical to meeting future energy needs. Research into novel materials and new technological solutions will contribute to the development of renewable energy sources and storage systems. The energy conversion and storage processes have certain limited efficiencies, cost factors and environmental effects. To improve these factors, research on fundamental science and engineering of micro and nanomaterials for sustainable energy are important.

teacher working with lightsNanostructured materials in this context have triggered great excitement, due to both fundamental interest as well as potential technological applications in energy research. Size reduction in nanocrystals leads to a variety of exciting phenomena due to enhanced surface-to-volume ratio and reduced scale of transport lengths for both mass and charge transport. CFES projects focus on synthesis of novel nanostructured energy materials, thermodynamic and transport properties and their relevance for energy conversion and storage.

Energy Platforms

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Photovoltaic and Thermo-Photovoltaic:

Partha Dutta, Toh-Ming Lu, Ishwara Bhat, Ramanath, Shawn Lin, Daniel Gall, T. Borca-Tasciuc, Pawel Keblinski, Nikhil Koratkar

  • Group III-V solar cell material growth on recyclable substrate.
  • Paintable/printable solar materials.
  • Study of MOVPE and ELO processes for Cd based thin layer Si wafer coating.
  • Hybrid (organic/ inorganic) PV cells using semiconductor nanocrystals.
  • Develop silicon based highly efficient TPV technologies with high power density, tunable bandgap semiconductors.

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Thermal Energy Conversion:

Ramanath, T. Borca-Tasciuc, Shawn Lin

  • Thermally adaptive nanomaterials for new energy paradigms.
  • Techniques for the directed synthesis and characterization of single crystal and branched nanorods.
  • Novel composite nanorods and techniques to measure molecular/atomic-level interfaces.
  • Synthesis of self-assembled conductive networks as thermal interface materials.

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Fuel cell and Hydrogen Research Lab:

Dan Lewis, Michael Jensen, Wayne Bequette, Lealon Martin, Ray Puffer, David Duquette, Marc-Olivier Coppens

  • Development and study of PEM, solid oxide, micro and alkaline fuel cells as well as sensors, control theory, bio-fuel cells, nanomaterials, bi-polar plates, systems engineering and gas diffusion layers.
  • Create advanced fuel cell components and systems through design, synthesis, and engineering of novel high-performance materials.
  • Development of new materials for fuel cell catalysts including next generation catalyst concepts and materials, testing, characterization and modeling.

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Energy Storage:

Ramanath, Chrisey, Koratkar, Lian

  • Novel high surface area carbon nanomaterials for hydrogen storage
  • Development of cost-effective, scaleable ferroelectric glass composites
  • Enhancement of electrical energy storage capacity through tailoring electrode/electrolyte interface
  • Development of nanostructured electrodes for Lithium batteries and capacitors

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Advanced Lighting Technologies:

Narendran, Leslie, Karlicek, Dutta

  • Development and study of high refractive index nanomaterial encapsulants.
  • Study of nanophosphors for photoluminescence.
  • Development of UV LED's on AlN.
  • Development of quantum nanocrystals.
  • Development and study of epitaxial films.
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