Carrying out cutting-edge research in solar energy, towards Vision 2030

04 July, 2022

Meet Christopher Petoukhoff, nominee of the Corning, Inc. fellowship, an NSF IGERT traineeship, and an NSF-EAPSI in the USA and now one of the Cohort 2022 KAUST Postdoctoral Global Fellows.

Christopher received his PhD in Materials Science and Engineering from Rutgers University, USA and then transitioned to Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology (OIST) as a postdoc. Christopher’s research interests broadly include methods of enhancing organic photovoltaic (OPV) efficiencies using nanomaterials and nanophotonic structures. His work focuses in combining multi-scale materials characterization, photophysics measurements, and optical-electronic simulations to help predict methods of enhancing OPV device efficiencies.

“I chose to come to KAUST to be part of cutting-edge research in solar energy, and to help the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia reach its goal of achieving 50% renewable energy by 2030. KAUST’s unparalleled research facilities, will enable me to conduct outstanding experiments that would not be possible at traditional universities.”, Christopher states.

As part of the KAUST Global Fellowship Program, Christopher will carry out his independent research investigating the impact of 2D semiconductors as multifunctional hole transport layers (HTLs) in high-efficiency OPV devices. He seeks to address the efficiency and stability of OPV devices simultaneously using narrow bandgap, liquid-phase exfoliated 2D semiconductors as HTLs. These multifunctional HTLs will eventually achieve selective hole transport to the transparent electrode, while simultaneously sensitizing the photoactive layer at near infrared (NIR) wavelengths and imbuing the electrode with greater stability.

“I am very passionate about science outreach and education and will be seeking the given opportunities to participate throughout my Fellowship. I also look forward to exploring Saudi Arabia, including the deserts, mountains, and the Red Sea.”, he notes.

Christopher is working at the Ultrafast Dynamics Group with KAUST Professor Frédéric Laquai and is affiliated with the KAUST Solar Center (KSC).