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Clean Energy

Professor Fred MacDonnell inspects chemistry equipment

Chemistry Professor Fred MacDonnell, above, and physics Professor Qiming Zhang are among 101 researchers sharing $49 million in inaugural grants from the National Science Foundation’s Sustainable Chemistry, Engineering, and Materials program. Dr. MacDonnell heads a team exploring photosensitive metal compounds as solar-energy collectors and catalysts to convert carbon dioxide into methanol, a valuable fuel source. Dr. Zhang and colleagues are using an iron oxysulfide—iron oxide with a small amount of sulfur introduced—as a building material for next-generation photovoltaic solar panels.