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2017 Hellman Fellow

David P. Fenning, Ph.D.

Engineering nanoscale materials to improve solar cells, reduce costs, and accelerate deployment (UCSD)

David Fenning is an Associate Professor in the Department of Nanoengineering at UC San Diego where he directs the Solar Energy Innovation Lab. His research program focuses on improving solar cells by engineering their materials at the nanoscale to reduce cost and accelerate worldwide deployment. The Lab develops measurement techniques to better understand solar cell materials and develop new device architectures for solar energy conversion and storage.

During his 2017 Hellman Fellowship, he and his team developed and applied two techniques new to next-generation perovskite photovoltaic materials that revealed the structure and performance of solar cell material: nano-X-ray diffraction and electron beam induced current. The Fellowship research supported manuscripts published in Science and Advanced Materials and led to a successful National Science Foundation Career Award and a separate award form the California Energy Commission to develop perovskite photovoltaics.

The Hellman Fellowship provided a creative and scientific runway that enabled me to make milestone advances toward tenure and elevate my research profile nationally and internationally. Receiving this honor and support made a critical difference at a turning point in my career.

– David Fenning, Ph.D.

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