UK Chemistry Doctoral Student Receives U.S. Department of Energy Stipend

UK Chemistry Doctoral Student Receives U.S. Department of Energy Stipend By Richard LeComte 

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Henry Pruett, a doctoral student in the Department of Chemistry in the University of Kentucky College of Arts & Sciences, has received a U.S. Department of Energy Office of Graduate Student Research fellowship, which provides a stipend of $3,600 a month.  

The program provides supplemental awards to outstanding U.S. graduate students to pursue part of their graduate thesis research at a department laboratory or facility in areas that address scientific challenges. Pruett is researching at a National Renewable Energy Laboratory near Denver. 

“This program will allow me to perform some experiments I would other not be able to,” he said. “I’ll also get the chance to work with some of the people at the forefront of the field of tin-based perovskite solar cells.” 

Pruett’s adviser is Kenneth Graham, associate professor of chemistry. Pruett’s research involves looking for ways to replace certain technologies in silicon solar cells.  

“My research involves tin-based, reduced dimensionality (RD) hybrid organic-metal halide perovskites (HPs),” Pruett said. “My research specifically is based on seeing how modifying the structure of one component molecule of the perovskite affects its optical/electronic properties with the goal of making the perovskites more stable without compromising their ability to produce energy. Ultimately, the hope is to make a new generation of solar panels that are cheaper and quicker to produce while being able to produce more energy.”