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Grants for Solar Energy Advances Announced

Tucson, AZ –June 13, 2013 – Research Corporation for Science Advancement (RCSA), the nation’s oldest foundation devoted wholly to science, announced today five new Scialog® awards totaling $750,000 to support innovative research in the area of solar energy conversion. The five awards consist of three single-investigator and two multi-investigator awards, resulting in seven new Scialog Fellows. The purpose of the Scialog initiative is to promote research that has the potential to rapidly advance scientific knowledge, as well as to create communities of scientists focused on problems of global significance. Scialog – short for science dialog – awards are based on proposals reviewed by renowned researchers led by Nathan Lewis, the George L. Argyros Professor of Chemistry at the California Institute of Technology and the principal investigator of the Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis. Since the inception of Scialog in 2010, RCSA has named 30 Scialog Fellows who have received awards totaling $3.25 million. Nine additional collaborative teams have been funded under the initiative. This year’s Scialog awards go to: Rene Lopez, Physics, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 20% Efficiency Nanostructured PbS Solar Cells, $100,000. Sarbajit Banerjee and David Watson, Chemistry, University at Buffalo, Towards a Tunable Platform for Exploring Band Alignment and Mediating Efficient Charge Transfer: Combining Quantum Confinement with Mid-Gap States, $200,000. Min Ouyang, Physics, University of Maryland, College Park, Probing Fundamental Light-Matter Interactions in Colloidal Hybrid Quantum Structures for Novel Plasmon-Enhanced Solar Energy Conversion, $100,000. Jordan M. Gerton, Physics, and Michael Bartl, Chemistry, University of Utah, The "Goldilocks" Platform for Efficient H2 Fuel Generation: Enhanced Solar-Matched Photocatalysis of H2O using GaN Surface States, $250,000. Amy L. Prieto, Chemistry, Colorado State University, Non-Toxic, Low Temperature Preparations of Earth Abundant Nanocrystal Inks for High Efficiency Photovoltaic Modules, $100,000. “Scialog is an experiment to see if we can accelerate the pace of breakthrough discoveries, initially in solar energy conversion,” said RCSA Interim President Jack Pladziewicz. “The program encourages collaboration and communication through its annual conference. But the major emphasis is placed on funding highly innovative discovery ideas that have not yet been tested and consequently carry greater risk than well-established lines of research. Time and again, we have seen that it is the people who push the limits of what we think we know who come up with the tools and knowledge we need to achieve our greatest advances.” The Scialog Awards are an example of the commitment to transformative research that has been a hallmark of RCSA, which last year celebrated its 100th Anniversary. During the past century, the foundation has supported fundamental research leading directly to such modern scientific and technological achievements as rocketry, lasers, MRI machines, “wonder drugs” such as corticosteroids, nuclear medicine and atomic science, among many other achievements.

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