Chemistry Associate Professor Robin Macaluso believes that by creating new synthetic materials, she can help make alternative energy sources more efficient and cost-effective.
Funded by a two-year grant from the National Science Foundation’s Division of Materials Research, she is establishing a method to create synthetic versions of sulfide and oxysulfide perovskites, a class of materials that share a unique crystalline structure and chemical formula. This would act as a semiconductor that generates electricity when exposed to light.
“The advantage here is to try to make new semiconducting materials that are also stable,” Dr. Macaluso says. “So, if we use these materials in energy applications, they must be able to withstand all these environmental factors like rain, humidity, and oxygen. By combining these elements together and making these mixed anion semiconductors, we can have more durable semiconductors to support energy consumption.”