President's Report Masthead
December 31, 2015

Physicist receives prestigious NSF grant

Research that may lead to inexpensive clean energy has won a Binghamton University physicist support from the National Science Foundation’s prestigious Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Program.

Jeffrey Mativetsky, assistant professor of physics, will receive more than $525,000 over five years for the work, which is to begin in July 2016. His research centers on the relationships between nanoscale structure and electrical function in organic materials for solar cells and electronics.

One of the main things holding back the use of solar cells is the cost associated with them, he says. Organic solar cells provide a pathway toward low-cost, clean energy. Organic materials open new possibilities because they are lightweight and mechanically flexible, making it possible, for example, to integrate them into curved surfaces.

Organic materials can also be processed near room temperature, Mativetsky notes, which is another factor that makes them attractive for flexible electronics.

Mativetsky, who blends principles of physics, chemistry and engineering in his research, says he’s motivated by a desire to work on systems that are relevant to society. He’d like to see solar cells integrated into disaster relief tents, for instance.

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