Nanoscience Materials Chemistry Group

Goodpaster Hall, St. Mary's College of Maryland

Laboratory Research

SPRAY-ON SOLAR CELLS, Inorganic materials are integral to all electronics including photovoltaics, touchscreens, LEDs, transitors, and batteries. In addition, they are very stable against heat, oxygen and UV light. The major problem is that they cannot be solution processed. In order to make inorganics soluble, they can be synthesized on the nanoscale and encased in an organic ligand shell. These nanocrystals can be sprayed in air under ambient conditions to form high quality inorganic films for electronics. Using a masking pattern, several layers of these films can be sprayed to form solar cells connected in series and parallel to boost the voltage and the current of the module. In our lab, we have developed the first all-solution, all inorganic solar devices with minimal equipment. We have also demonstrated the first working all-spray solar cells that are now being investigated by the US Navy for mission purposes. These are cheap, stable and you can make them in your kitchen. Our work involves finding new and more efficient materials for this spray process.

SPRAY-ON LEDS, Because the structure of LED devices are the reverse of solar cells, these light emitting diodes can also be processed from solution. They can be sprayed onto any surface to create locatlized lighting of a specific color based type of material and the size of the nanocrystals. This way, you can tune the color of your light based on the planned synthesis conditions of your crystals. Imagine spray on lighting for building and roadways. This is true for photovolatics as well. The costs are drastically reduced when applied to the preparation and the installation of these devices for our everyday use.


Spin-coating Nanofilms (top) and Gold Nanocrystal synthesis (bottom)
Dario Durastanti, Dr. Troy Townsend, Keene Kelderman, 2014

Group Photo 2015. Chris Knell (left), Dr. Townsend, Ryan Mahoney, Yifan Yan, Dario Durastanti, Barry Liang, Elena Donahue, Azhar Ravji (right) and Emma Skekel (not shown here).

Interview with Professor Townsend

Spray-on Nanocrystals Solar Cells

Professor Townsend is now a Community Editor for the RSC Journal Materials Horizons!

Royal Society of Chemistry

Renewable Energy on Campus     
Townsend Group Cost calculations summary for SMCM:       

SMCM official partnership

PAX-River NAVAIR station 6 miles north

Troy Townsend, PhD,
Oct 22, 2015, 9:15 AM