Vikas Reddy Voggu Wins Paper of the Year

Vikas Reddy Voggu, 2017 Paper of the Year award recipientVikas Reddy Voggu has been awarded the 2017 Graduate Student Paper of the Year Award and the Cindy and Mike Zeglin Endowed Graduate Fellowship in Chemical Engineering for his paper entitled “Flexible CuInSe2 Nanocrystal Solar Cells on Paper” published in ACS Energy Letters.

Through the research detailed in his paper Voggu aims to develop inexpensive, flexible solar cells that could harvest power from the sun or indoor room light. Whereas conventional solar panels have limited use and adoptability due to a rigid and heavy design, flexible paper solar cells have the potential to power a completely different class of lightweight devices that can be integrated into everyday life, like sensors, Bluetooth beacons, body integrated portable electronics, and more.

In his work, Voggu has developed the fabrication of printed solar cells on paper that are lightweight, flexible, and even foldable.

“As an innovation, paper has had profound global impact, enabling wider adoption of written documents than stone based tablets,” Voggu said. “The paper solar cells we developed represent an analogous step forward in the field of photovoltaics.”

Voggu’s work was showcased in Omnibus Filing, an art exhibit hosted in January and February 2017 by the principal investigator of his lab group, Dr. Brian Korgel.

“Vikas’ collaboration with artist, James Sham, was in itself an experiment,” Korgel said. “It was exciting to see how a chemical engineer and an artist could work together in the lab to devise a new approach to solar cell device design and fabrication and then demonstrate that it’s actually possible to do it.”

“This was the first project that I’ve been a part of that made both a scientific impact in a prestigious research journal while being exhibited in the art gallery as sculpture,” Korgel said.

This recognition is one of Voggu’s many recent accolades including receiving a 2016 Eastman Chemical Company Fellowship and the 2015 George J. Heuer, Jr. Ph.D. Endowed Graduate Fellowship Fund at UT Austin.

“It’s an honor for my research publication to be selected as Paper of the Year amongst all the top-quality research publications from Texas ChE,” Voggu said. “I am very thankful for all the co-authors who helped me with this highly multidisciplinary project which involved contributions from both artists and scientists.”

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