Summer Research Spotlight

by mlreynolds on July 27, 2022

This summer, Bobby Hoye has been focusing his research on the science behind solar panels. Working with Dr. Hickox-Young, he is looking at the compound, CsPbBr3, which is one in a new class of materials, called Perovskites. Perovskites, for reference, are semiconductors that transport electrical charges once the light hits them. These materials have only gained popularity within the last twenty years, due to the expansion of research on their increased energy efficiency values, which can be manufactured with relatively low costs for solar panels. Bobby is looking deeper into why CsPbBr3 has its unique properties with the hopes of better understanding its future as the absorption layer in solar panels. He performs calculations of the crystal lattice (arrangement of atoms inside a crystal) and examines structural defects (i.e. missing atoms, extra atoms, etc.) and how these affect the resulting properties with the hope of helping scientists in this field to understand why CsPbBr3 performs so well.

This project is the first part of Bobby’s Honors Distinction Project as well as the first part of his Honors in the Major project for Physics. His next steps are focusing on more calculations and diving into elimination lead (Pb) and replacing it with tin (Sn). This second part of his project will take place during the upcoming Fall and Spring semesters, which will culminate in presenting his work at the American Physical Society (APS) annual conference in Las Vegas during Spring Break.

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