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NSF-RISE

NSF HBCU-RISE
Design of Nanostructures for Energy Efficient Devices

PI: Rami Bommareddi

Co-PIs: Ashok Batra, Satilmis Budak, Matthew Edwards, Vernessa Edwards

Other Scientists: Padmaja Guggilla and Michael Curley

T​he project deals with research, student training and educational outreach activities.  Graduate and undergraduate students will participate in this project and pursue their dissertation/thesis on these topics.   Secondary School teachers and students will also participate for a month in summer to gain hands on research experience.   During the summer, a weeklong workshop is planned on nanoscience and technology.  Students and instructors will be invited to participate.

The primary objective of the proposal is to address the looming energy crisis (Figure 1).  The proposal has two main components to design (1) energy efficient light sources and (2) energy efficient materials for power generation from ambient sources. 

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​Figure 1: Energy efficient devices


Design of Energy Efficient Phosphors

(Rami Bommareddi, Vernessa Edwards and students)​

About 20% of the electricity generated is used for lighting.  About 98% of the energy is wasted as heat in incandescent light bulbs.  Compact fluorescent light bulbs are more efficient but release harmful gases into the living rooms when busted. Solid state lighting utilizes blue diodes coated with phosphors.  We design and fabricate silver doped phosphor materials that produce bright white light under diode pumping.  We also understand the interaction mechanisms between the metallic nanoparticles and the inorganic ions. These studies will enable us to design energy efficient light sources.  A prototype device will be made.​

Microscopic image of Ag particles in a borate glass.jpg White light emission from (a) Eu3+ (b) Dy3+and Sm3+ doped materials.png
Figure 2. Microscopic image of Ag   Figure 3. White light emission from             particles in a borate glass.              (a) Eu3+ (b) Dy3+ (c) Sm3+ doped materials. 


Highly Efficient Semiconductor Thin-Film Thermoelectric Devices

(Satilmis Budak, Michael Curley and students)

Semiconductor heterostructures will be fabricated and tested for current generation. Nanostructures will be grown in them by ion bombardment and subsequent heat treatment. Effects of quantum dots on the electrical and thermal conductivities will be investigated in detail.  One of our aims is to make the heterostructures operational at room temperature or above. 

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Figure ​4. (a) Multi-nano-layered thin film geometry for thermoelectric device and (b) students at work. 

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(Matthew Edwards, Ashok Batra, Padmaja Guggilla and students)

The effects of nanocomposites on the piezoelectric and pyroelectric coefficients as well as on the conversion efficiency into electrical energy will be investigated via a high-resolution piezoelectric force microscope. This experimentation will enhance the knowledge behind the interfacial polarization that is believed to improve the functional properties. Based on the best set of properties obtained, a proto type Piezoelectric Energy Harvester will be designed and fabricated in our Clean Energy Laboratory. Also, density functional theory will be used for comparative purposes.

cantilever array in the Clean Energy Laboratory-1.jpgcantilever array in the Clean Energy Laboratory-2.jpg.pngcantilever array in the Clean Energy Laboratory-3.jpg.png Figure 5. Experimental setup used for the frequency response measurements of a unimorph cantilever array in the Clean Energy Laboratory.

Educational Out Reach Activities

Summer Workshop on Nanoscience and Technology:  We will invite a few undergraduate students to a weeklong workshop.  The workshop lectures will be given by the experts on different topics covering Nanoscience and Technology.  If you are interested click the link.

K-12 Teachers and Students: We will provide a month long summer activities for the neighborhood school teachers and secondary school students. We will pay a modest compensation for two teachers and four school students. If you are interested click the link. 



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