Students and postdoctoral research associates (postdocs) at the Center for Interface Science: Solar Electric Materials (CISSEM) experience outstanding training in emerging thin-film solar electric energy conversion technologies. An integral part of CISSEM’s mission is “to inspire, recruit and train future scientists and leaders in the basic science of solar electric energy conversion.” Our Principal Investigators (PIs) place major focus on providing CISSEM students and postdocs with enhanced training and scientific cross-fertilization through mechanisms such as:
- Providing our graduate students and postdocs access to state-of-the-art research facilities and equipment, and leading faculty.
- Encouraging our graduate students and postdocs to take advantage of CISSEM’s ‘Collaborative Research Travel Program’ (CRTP) that funds their travel between CISSEM’s institutions. CRTP awards provide opportunities to engage the array of facilities and expertise within CISSEM and promote face-to-face scientific collaborations between students/postdocs.
- Attending our center-wide (Interface-to-Face) research conferences that bring together CISSEM’s PIs, students, postdocs, and staff to promote further collaboration, synergy, and interactions. Conference agendas promote face-to-face scientific interactions between all participants, and especially feature our students and postdocs in presentations and poster sessions.
- Participating in our student/postdoc collaboration program ‘CISSEM Innovative Research Seed Awards’ (or CIRSAs). The CIRSA competition is for graduate student/postdoc teams who propose new collaborative research activities. Winning CIRSA teams are funded to perform new or enhanced CISSEM-funded collaborative research activities involving multiple institutions.
- A strong culture of collaboration and cross-institutional training of students common among our PIs.
CISSEM is one of forty-six EFRCs created in 2009 by the U.S. DOE to pursue an integrated, synergistic approach to tackle complex national energy problems. CISSEM is developing basic science for interfaces in thin-film photovoltaic solar cells (PVs) to help lower the cost of transforming the sun’s energy to electricity. Research at CISSEM is focused on understanding, modifying, and controlling what happens in thin-film PVs at nanometer length scales in interfacial regions. We can be contacted by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.