Construction and testing of third generation photovoltaics

We do fundamental materials chemistry research on photovoltaics, materials that convert sunlight to electricity, aiming to improve the efficiency of cells constructed from low-cost materials that can be applied to large-area surfaces.  The two major projects are 

  • dye-sensitized solar cells incorporating zinc oxide nanotube and nanosheet photoanodes; and
  • heterojunction cells produced by spraying or printing colloidal suspensions of quantum dots

There is a wide array of activities in our lab, including solid-state synthesis, cell construction, and materials characterization. We use tools as diverse as absorption and fluorescence spectroscopy, scanning electron microscopy, atomic force microscopy, current-voltage curve analysis, and various forms of impedance spectroscopy to characterize our devices. 

Name of research group, project, or lab
Van Ryswyk lab
Representative publication
Logistics Information:
Project categories
Materials Science
Student ranks applicable
Time commitment
Summer - Full Time
Paid Research
Number of openings
Techniques learned
  • synthesis
    • inert atmosphere vacuum line synthesis, inert atmosphere glove box
  • cell construction
    • spin coating, electrodeposition, spin coating, vacuum metal evaporation
  • characterization
    • optoelectronic characterization via current-voltage analysis; electrochemical impedance spectroscopy, intensity modulated photovoltage and photocurrent spectroscopies
  • imaging
    • scanning electron microscopy, atomic force microscopy, optical microscopy


Contact Information:
Mentor name
Hal Van Ryswyk
Mentor email
Mentor position
principal investigator
Name of project director or principal investigator
Hal Van Ryswyk
Email address of project director or principal investigator
2 sp. | 22 appl.
Hours per week
Summer - Full Time
Project categories
Materials Science (+1)
ChemistryMaterials Science