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University of Arizona gets $11 million grant for solar storage research

By Nicholas Gerbis
Published: Monday, September 5, 2022 - 4:29pm
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The U.S. Department of Energy has granted University of Arizona almost $11 million over four years to support an Energy Frontier Research Center there.

The center's research on energy conversion and storage could advance solar progress.

Finding a reliable, flexible and scalable way to store solar energy is one of the barriers on the road to net-zero carbon emissions.

UA's Center for Soft PhotoElectroChemical Systems, or SPECS, will set aside conventional energy conversion and storage approaches in favor of soft semiconductors made up of long-chain molecules, or polymers.

Like noodles in a bowl, these polymers will share several points of contact, which can increase reliability by giving chemical reactions more paths to travel.

Because they are flexible, such materials can in theory be tuned or adjust to changing conditions.