Susanna M. Thon is an associate professor of electrical and computer engineering. She studies nanomaterials engineering for optoelectronic devices, with a focus on solar energy conversion and sensing.
Her work applies techniques from nanophotonics and scalable fabrication to produce devices and materials with novel optical and electrical functionality. Thon’s team is currently working on a number of projects, including the development of plasmonic-photocatalytic systems that use nanoparticles containing aluminum to enhance light absorption in titanium dioxide. Team members are also researching ways to use nanostructured materials, such as colloidal quantum dots and plasmonic metal nanoparticles, to build multicolored, transparent, and next-generation devices.
Insights from Thon’s research on photovoltaics are helping to push the boundaries of efficiency and cost-effectiveness through the use of flexible platforms and new materials. Using 3-D printing, Thon and her colleagues recently developed a flexible and transparent lens array that can increase the amount of power produced by solar cells twentyfold.
Mighty Power in Small Solar Energy Invention, JH Magazine