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Society of Physics Students Chapter receives second-straight SPS Chapter Research Award

South Dakota State University’s Society of Physics Students Chapter won the 2021 SPS Chapter Research Award to study hybrid perovskite solar cells. The chapter also received the award in 2020 to study the properties of lithium batteries.

Society of Physics Students Chapter receives second-straight SPS Chapter Research Award
The SDSU Society of Physics Students Chapter is: top row (from left): Abdullah al (Maruf), Zachary Mehlberg and Khan Mamun Reza; bottom row: Nabin Ghimir, Ashiqur Rahman and Mominul Islam.

“To be selected two years in a row for this honor shows the quality of work our students are capable of and are doing,” said Robert McTaggart, an associate professor in the Department of Physics and is the faculty adviser for the Society of Physics Students. He was selected as the 2020 Society of Physics Students’ Outstanding Chapter Advisor. “This project could not only potentially help to solve the current limitations of next-generation solar cells, but also train undergraduate students in rigorous experimental and computational physics research.”

Abdullah al (Maruf), a senior majoring in physics and mathematics from Gazipur, Bangladesh, is leading the project.

"The majority of the members in our chapter are actively involved in research—from condensed matter physics, to nuclear physics, to sustainable energy research. In recent years, perovskite solar cells have pretty much revolutionized the field of sustainable energy research with its efficiency as high as 18-20%. But one major issue is the stability of the Perovskite solar cell. Our goal is to engineer the layers of the solar cell to improve the power conversion efficiency as well as the stability of the solar cell,” Maruf said.  

“The research is both collaborative and multidisciplinary,” McTaggart said. “Dr. Yue Zhou from the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science will serve as a research adviser for this project and Nabin Ghimire, a graduate student in that department, will serve as a core member of the research team. One might even refer to this kind of research as engineering physics."