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Koret Fellowship Program

Christopher Esparza

Physics & History major, Class of 2018

Under the mentorship of Dr. Richard P. Barber Jr. from the Department of Physics at Santa Clara University, I intend to provide my knowledge and skills to contribute towards the following research: “Structure–function relationships of fullerene esters in polymer solar cells: unexpected structural effects on lifetime and efficiency”. The research involves creating solar cells in a polymer, rather than the traditional glass-like material that envelops it, and testing its efficiency with a variety of chemical alterations. By manipulating the chemical blends within the solar cell, the expected efficiency and life of the solar cell can be increased and thus be a viable alternative to the expensive and delicate solar cells that are in production today. With the potential production of cheaper, plastic solar cells, the applications can be beneficial to developing areas of the world that do not currently have access to sources of electricity.