Solar Cells Workshop Animates Researchers, Propels More Collaborations Print E-mail

University of Pittsburgh Prof. Di Gao speaks to one of the Chinese participants about his research at the IMI-SEE workshop at Xiamen University in October 2011.

With increasing environmental concerns, the wave of the future is upon us, and low-cost dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSC) are part of the solution.

The topic was of much consideration at a joint U.S.-China scientific workshop at Xiamen University Oct. 25-26, 2011. Themes of the workshop included materials synthesis and characterization, device fabrication, as well as modeling and new designs.

Prof. Jonathan Rochford, of the University of Massachusetts in Boston who was one of 46 participants, presented the talk, “Non-Innocent Ligand Architectures for Dye Sensitized Solar Cell Applications,” at the event organized by the NSF-funded International Materials Institute on Solar Energy and Environment (IMI-SEE).

“The chance to share research ideas and troubleshoot problems is critical for progress in any field,” he said.

During the IMI-SEE workshop at Xiamen University, Prof. Zhiquin Lin of Iowa State University talks with a Chinese student about her poster and project.

Rochford will be involved in one of the projects that is in the plans since the workshop, and money for all of the research is being proposed from the funding agencies of the participants’ respective countries. He would like to team up with Prof. Daibin Kuang of Sun Yat-sen University to explore novel applications of dye-sensitized solar cells.

Rochford also liked the opportunity to bring one of his graduate students, Helen Zhao. Since exposure to the workshop, she “has become more focused and determined to achieve in her research.”

Zhao enjoyed meeting accomplished professors from the U.S. and China who have common interests of materials chemistry in solar energy applications.

“Attending the IMI-SEE workshop opened my eyes to a host of research disciplines,” she said. “Through this workshop, I realized the importance of the international scientific collaboration. It accelerates the development of the DSSC project, and it has the potential to solve complex problems.”

The National Science Foundation (NSF) and Xiamen University sponsored the workshop to foster U.S.-China cooperation in addressing energy and environmental challenges. The two-day workshop consisted of research lectures, student poster session, lab and campus tour, and group discussion.

Atiya Jordan, a graduate student from Louisiana State University, also thought the workshop was fruitful.

“The combination of a great workshop and amazing tours of Xiamen made the Joint U.S.-China Workshop on Dye-sensitized Solar Cells a memorable experience,” Jordan said.

Last Updated on Monday, February 27 2012 12:50