A year after opening Coppin State University’s first nanotechnology research center, a science professor and his research team are making history for simulating the most efficient solar energy cells in the world. Natural sciences professor Dr. Jamal Uddin and five undergraduate student researchers have modeled nearly 4 percent more efficient solar cells than Spectrolab, the Boeing Co. based in California that held the title for most cells simulated since 2006. Coppin’s research includes creating cells that act as rechargeable batteries for night vision goggles used by soldiers at war.
Coppin’s group has simulated 43.4 percent of solar cells for reusable energy. Dr. Uddin said his team utilized the metaphysics software COMSOL and the online software program PC1D to break the world record. “It is really fantastic and encouraging for our university to achieve such exciting results,” said Dr. Uddin. “It was a surprising discovery and now we are excited to proceed with further research in nanotechnology.” Dr. Uddin and five additional student researchers will continue nanotech simulation with the hope of manipulating 50 percent of solar cells by December 2010.
The university’s one-year-old Nanotechnology Research Center is a product of the $89,000 Maryland Technology Development Corp. (TEDCO) grant the school received July 2009. On Oct. 26, the Coppin research team will present their findings to renowned nanotech scientists, scholars and visitors in the army research lab at Fort Detrick, Md.