Sean Gai ’20
Ensuring the Sustainability of Perovskites, a Potentially Transformative Solar Material
Certificate(s): Statistics and Machine Learning
I had the opportunity to participate in research focused on the environmental factors affecting the degradation of perovskite films, which are a promising material for solar cells. The goal of this research was to mitigate, or prevent, the degradation of perovskites so that the lead they contain does not leach into the environment. This research could allow for the commercialization of stable perovskite solar cells with very high power-conversion efficiencies. My role was to expose perovskite films to different combinations of light, humidity and oxygen. I then used infrared spectrometry and X-ray diffraction to track the films’ degradation over time and determine the relative importance of each environmental factor. This experience taught me patience for scientific study — some ideas led to dead ends and some results did not match my predictions. I also learned how to visualize data by converting numerical figures into plots. Although I may not end up a scientist, I gained a variety of analytical and problem-solving skills through this experience.
Myneni Group, Department of Geosciences, Princeton University- Princeton, New Jersey
Satish Myneni, Professor of Geosciences; Clay Hamill, Ph.D. candidate, Chemical and Biological Engineering; Sara Thomas, Postdoctoral Research Associate, Geosciences