My research is aimed at the challenge of meeting the growing energy needs of society and replacing fossil fuels with clean energy sources. The first thrust of my research focuses on creating materials that will be the building blocks of economical, large-scale, clean energy technologies of the future. The key to creating effective energy conversion materials is controlling the flow of energy, electricity and matter at the nanoscale by careful design of the shape, size and composition of materials at the same scale. I am primarily interested in developing new materials for cheap yet efficient solar cells that either generate electricity or directly generate chemical fuels. The second thrust of my research is to create methods to synthesize these materials rapidly, cheaply and at large scales that match the scale of our energy problem. We explore a large range of synthesis methods for nanostructured thin films including vapor and solution deposition, and flame synthesis. Students in my lab can expect to work on highly interdisciplinary projects at the intersection of materials science, solid state physics, and thermal sciences. I look forward to exploring these interesting topics with my students and encouraging them to apply their creativity to solving some of our most difficult problems!
Professional Highlights & Honors
Boston 25 reported on WPI researchers developing a sensor the size of a Band-Aid to measure a baby’s blood oxygen levels, a vital indication of the lungs’ effectiveness and whether the baby’s tissue is receiving adequate oxygen supply. This wearable device will be flexible and stretchable, wireless, inexpensive, and mobile - possibly allowing the child to leave the hospital and be monitored remotely.
The Worcester Business Journal reported on WPI receiving $3 million from the National Science Foundation to study human-robot interaction in the workplace. Eight WPI researchers are involved: Cagdas Onal (principal investigator), Yunus Telliel, Jeanine Skorinko, Winston Soboyejo, Jing Xiao, Pratap Rao, Soussan Djamasbi and Jane Li.