CU-Boulder engineer win NSF’s CAREER award for research to make solar panels more efficient

Prashant Nagpal is one of two faculty members in the University of Colorado Boulder’s College of Engineering and Applied Science who have been honored with the National Science Foundation’s prestigious CAREER award.

Prashant Nagpal of CU-Boulder

Prashant Nagpal

Nagpal, an assistant professor of chemical and biological engineering, is being awarded $499,077 over five years to work on improving the amount of energy from the sun that photovoltaic panels can convert into electricity. His work focuses on using “hot carriers” in quantum-confined semiconductor nanostructures to capture the waste energy that cannot be captured by the bulk semiconductors used in today’s solar panels.

Nagpal also will investigate if semiconductor nanostructures can be used as photocatalysts to split water, creating clean hydrogen fuel, or to generate other hydrocarbon solar fuels using carbon dioxide, water and sunlight in an artificial photosynthetic process.

The NSF Faculty Early Career Development, or CAREER, award supports junior faculty members who demonstrate excellence in research and who effectively integrate their research with education.
Read the press release.

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