Some Seton Hall University undergraduate students will be getting a chance to do real world solar energy research funded by a $35,000 grant awarded to Assistant Professor of Physics Weining Wang. The grant from Research Corporation for Science Advancement (RCSA) will be supplemented by a $10,000 grant from the university’s College of Arts and Sciences and the Department of Physics.
Wang, whose research area is solar energy, and her students will investigate and hope to resolve an “energy barrier” that occurs within solar cells. They will experiment with various conductive materials, searching for a potential replacement for the materials that currently contribute to this energy barrier. By reducing this continuous obstacle in solar technology, Wang hopes to increase overall efficiency.
The research presents a unique opportunity for undergraduate students working on the project with Wang. Several students have been project team members since the early stages, helping to complete the preliminary work that earned the grant. They will continue to work on the project when the grant officially begins on July 1.
“They will gain experience presenting their research at conferences and publishing research papers with me which will help them whether they are continuing on to grad school or entering industry,” said Wang.
The grant comes from RCSA’s Cottrell College Science program which was created in the early 1970s to promote basic undergraduate research at colleges and universities nationwide. Applicants are carefully reviewed by a panel of top scientists. In the past 15 years, the Cottrell College Science Awards have supported the research work of more than 1,300 early career scientists in 400 institutions.
by: Allyson Piatt
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This post was prepared by Solar Thermal Magazine staff.