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Coppin State University

Uddin, Dr. Jamal01MFAt Coppin State University’s Center for Nanotechnology, Dr. Jamal Uddin and his team are doing work that’s indescribably baffling to the layperson. But the possible results can be understood by anyone: A cheaper, more energy efficient way to recharge your cell phone.

Uddin, a chemistry professor at Coppin State and the founder and director of the Center for Nanotechnology, is working with dye-sensitized solar cells, thin, low-cost, photovoltaic solar cells that convert visible light into electricity. Essentially, he has figured out how to make the cells more efficient, which could have far-reaching ramifications.

Most immediately, Uddin said, the innovation will provide a lighter, longer-lasting alternative to the heavy lithium ion batteries now used in the U.S. military’s night vision goggles. Eventually, the work could reach a much broader audience by helping recharge mobile devices such as i-Phones and i-Pads.

“Solar energy is gaining more acceptance and is becoming an increasingly cost-effective and clean alternative to conventional energy sources,” said Uddin, whose findings have been accepted for publication in the scholarly journal, Nature Scientific Report. “Our achievement … provides great potential for manufacturing more efficient solar cells, a renewable energy source compared to nonrenewable sources such as coal, gas, oil, and nuclear.”