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UNLV Professor Shubhra Bansal, Ph.D., Receives Prestigious National Science Foundation CAREER Award Project

National Science Foundation (NSF) has announced UNLV Professor Shubhra Bansal, Ph.D. a recipient of CAREER award project to advance solar cells.  The prestigious CAREER award project aims to develop high efficiency Pb-free (lead-free) perovskite solar cells and determine the stability of these novel materials. Pb-based organic-inorganic halide perovskite (OIHP) solar cells have shown tremendous promise with big leap in efficiency in less than a decade. The National Science Foundation (NSF) project award totaling $398,240 is for five-year period beginning March 1st,2021.

The project will develop air-stable and low defect density Pt-Ni (platinum-nickel) and Sn-Ge (stanogermanide)based perovskite solar cells. Success in this project will result in the development of a model system for Pb-free perovskite solar cells with stable buffer and contact materials. Prof. Bansal will be developing levelized cost of energy models to determine the effect of Pb replacement on cell cost, energy yield, efficiency, degradation rates, encapsulation costs, and recycling. 

Shubhra Bansal, assistant professor of Mechanical Engineering. UNLV Photo Services)

In addition to these scientific advancements, Prof. Bansal will train underrepresented minority graduate and undergraduate students on materials for energy applications. This CAREER project will also train the next generation workforce for solar energy jobs in Nevada at community colleges and UNLV. Dedicated workshop series to identify the fundamental roadblocks for the development of high efficiency and Pb-free perovskite materials will be hosted in collaboration with academia and industry partners.

Prof. Bansal received her Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering from Georgia Tech and a bachelor’s degree in Metallurgical and Materials Engineering from IIT, Roorkee.  Before joining the UNLV Mechanical Engineering department, Bansal worked as a research scientist at GE Global Research and as a Technical Advisor for the Department of Energy. In August 2020, Prof. Bansal received the 2020 Faculty Achievement Award for the College of Engineering.

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