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Research Abstracts Online
January - December 2011

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University of Minnesota Twin Cities
College of Science and Engineering
Department of Chemistry

PI: Wayne L. Gladfelter

Computational Analysis of Charge Transfer Phenomena

This project is focused on the computational study of systems that the Gladfelter group is studying experimentally. These systems are the basic building blocks of the dye-sensitized solar cell (DSSC), which is also colloquially referred to as the Gratzel Cell. The researchers have studied the correlation between the electronic structure of a dye molecule and its ability to transfer electrons into a semiconducting nanoparticle to which the dye has been attached. They have found this correlation to be an instructive one that they can use to develop better dye molecules for better solar cell performance.

The researchers also have been studying the interactions between dye molecules on the surface of a nanoparticle. This work has been ongoing for several years in a planning phase, but recently they have elevated it to a higher priority. Specifically, they are now collaborating with another faculty member from the chemistry department, Professor Ilja Siepmann. This collaboration means that the group’s use of MSI resources will increase along with the production that comes out of a fruitful collaboration.

Group Members

Ryan J. Hue, Graduate Student
Rajan N. Vatassery, Graduate Student
Ellis J. Warner, Graduate Student