Resnick Institute

2017 Resonate Award Winner

Aditya Mohite

Resonate Award recipient for developing two-dimensional and thin-film materials for high-performance solar electricity generation.

Aditya Mohite

The Challenge

We are faced with two grand challenges. First to meet the ever-growing demand for energy across the planet and second to overcome the serious threat of global warming. This will require a substantial reduction in greenhouse gases achieved through conscious choice by every individual, country and as a planet through energy efficiency as well as the deployment of renewable energy at a massive scale. Unfortunately, current solar energy generation requires large amounts of material, driving up costs in the manufacturing and installation of these systems. Developing high-efficiency solar energy devices that use a small fraction of the material in today’s solar panels could reduce weight, and material costs. Success would increase the rate at which solar power systems could be deployed, reducing global greenhouse gas emissions significantly while increasing energy access around the world.

The Response

Aditya’s passion lies in finding innovative and out-of-the-box concepts and solutions for the next generation of clean energy advances. His work focuses on key problems associated with a wide range of 0D, 1D and 2D materials such as carbon nanotubes, quantum dots, polymers, nanowires, graphene, transition metal dichalcogenides, developing unique and innovative low-temperature methods to integrate nanomaterials into thin-films, where the nanoscale materials retain their unique properties, but also give rise to new emergent behaviors that are intrinsic to the material. Achieving this requires an in-depth understanding and control of physical properties across multiple scales at relevant operating conditions. These strategies have translated to high performance devices with the stability required to be useful in the real world.

The Future

Solving these problems in the long term has the potential to help realize the full potential of nanoscale materials technology to generate renewable energy efficiently, by enabling devices with advantages in size, weight and power. These results could provide the key foundation for the fundamental and technological development of nanoscale materials for high-efficiency and stable devices for the next generation clean energy applications.