A widespread transition to solar energy will depend heavily on reliable, safe, and affordable technology like batteries for energy storage and solar cells for energy conversion.
Nikhil Koratkar, an endowed professor of mechanical, aerospace, and nuclear engineering at Rensselaer, has dedicated much of his research to exploring ways to make a wide-range of batteries more efficient, affordable, and safe.
In research published in Advanced Functional Materials, Koratkar and a team of engineers, material scientists, and physicists demonstrated how a new material — a lead-free chalcogenide perovskite — that hadn’t previously been considered for use in solar cells could provide a safer and more effective option than others that are commonly considered.
“The National Academy of Engineering has defined 14 grand challenges; one of those is to make harvesting energy from the sun cheaper and more widespread,” Koratkar said. "That’s the motivation of this work, to come up with new materials that could rival the efficiency of silicon, but bring down the cost of manufacturing solar cells, and that is the key to achieving this goal.”
Koratkar is available to talk about this recent discovery, and his broader expertise and research in energy storage.
Nikhil Koratkar Professor of Mechanical, Aerospace, and Nuclear Engineering
World Renowned, Highly Cited Expert in Battery Energy Storage