Ph.D. student in the Mork Family Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science Mythili Surendran was recognized for her photovoltaics research.
Mythili Surendran, a fourth year Ph.D. student in the Mork Family Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science, was recently awarded the Oxford PV Prize for the best contributed Talk on Photovoltaics at the Fall Meeting of the European Materials Research Society (EMRS). Surendran works within the Laboratory for Complex Materials and Devices and is advised by Assistant Professor of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science and Electrical and Computer Engineering Jayakanth Ravichandran.
Surendran, whose research has applications in photovoltaics such as solar cells, was honored for her presentation titled “Epitaxial chalcogenide perovskite thin films for solar energy conversion.”
“Our group has been developing a new family of semiconductors, known as chalcogenide perovskites, which has potential applications in efficient solar cells, lighting and communication,” said Surendran.
Surendran said that the ability to grow high-quality thin films of these materials is the most critical step toward creating devices for these applications.
“My research primarily focuses on growing thin films of this class of semiconductors. We developed one of the first high-quality films of the prototypical chalcogenide perovskite—barium zirconium sulfide—and demonstrated efficient light absorption in these ultra-thin films,” Surendran said.
“This material is very stable and composed of non-toxic and inexpensive elements, which make them suitable candidates for next generation solar cells,” she said.
The research group is currently also working on synthesizing thin films of new materials in this family to improve infrared sensing and imaging. This work has been supported by the Army Research office.
The research has also recently been awarded Defense University Research Instrumentation Program funding for ongoing and future work in this field.
A detailed description of the work Surendran presented at EMRS Fall Meeting is published in the September 2021 issue of the journal Chemistry of Materials.