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Field-Effect Transistors Made From Pybrid Perovskites

The remarkable crystalline materials may prove useful in many applications beyond solar cells


Valy Vardeny, distinguished professor of physics at the University of Utah. Photo Credit: University of Utah

The best hope for cheap, super-efficient solar power is a remarkable group of crystalline materials called hybrid perovskites. In just five years of development, organic-inorganic perovskite solar cells have attained power conversion efficiencies that took decades to achieve with the top-performing conventional materials used to generate electricity from sunlight.

In a scientific first, researchers at the University of Utah and Wake Forest University now have demonstrated that the materials can be used to make field-effect transistors operating at room temperature. The feat shows that hybrid perovskites have potential to be used in a great many optoelectronic applications beyond solar cells.

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2015 Department Awards & Scholarships

Graduation and commencement exercises for the University of Utah took place on May 7-8, 2015. The Department of Physics & Astronomy congratulates all of its 2015 graduates and welcomes them to their alumni family.

The Department of Physics & Astronomy congratulates all its 2015 student award recepients on their hard work and accomplishments. Recipients were honored at the Physics & Astronomy Awards Ceremony on Wednesday, April 29 at 1:30 PM in JFB 102. Images & video to appear shortly.


Marzieh Kavand

Eddie Thenell

Yaxin Zhai

Kevin Davenport

Charlie Zhang

Mei Hui Teh

Trey Jensen

Jasmine Bishop

Cedric Wilson

Stephen Farrell

Matthew Dutson

Derek Sessions

Mark Hayward

Ethan Lake

Ian Sohl

Caleb Webb

 

Congratulations to our 2015 graduates and scholarship recipients!

2015 Awards & ScholarshipsBaccalaureate DegreesMasters DegreesPh. D Degrees

Swigart Scholarship for Outstanding Graduate Student
Marzieh Kavand
EddieThenell
Yaxin Zhai

Outstanding Graduate Student
Hassan Allami
Kevin Davenport

Outstanding Postdoctoral Research
Hong Guo
Charlie Zhang

Outstanding Graduate Teaching Assistants
Adam Payne
Mei Hui Teh

Paul Gilbert Outstanding Undergraduate Research
Trey Jensen

Martin Hiatt Outstanding Undergraduate Research
Jasmine Bishop
Cedric Wilson

Outstanding Undergraduate - Senior
Rachel Petragallo

Outstanding Undergraduate - Junior
Stephen Farrell

Outstanding Undergraduate - Sophomore
Matthew Dutson

Tyler Soelberg Memorial Award
Sydney Duncan

Thomas J. Parmley Scholarship
Jasmine Bishop
Cedric Wilson

Walter W. Wada Scholarship
Derek Sessions

Departmental Scholarships
Mark Hayward
Ethan Lake
Ian Sohl
Caleb Webb

Amr Abd-Al-Ghaffar
Shannon Adams
Brandon Barrows
Trevor Brunnenmeyer
David Cavaness
Kevin Corelli
Christian Cox
Nathan Dansie
Trent Eason
Luis Arturo Garcia Remes
Ulrich Garn
Nancy Granda-Duarte
Christopher Harker
Joshua Harmer
Paul Harrie
Pyone Hlaing
Grey Hugentobler
Brandon Hullinger
Steven Hurst
David Kane
Spencer Knight
Jordan Krebs
Ryan Le Von
Charles Lee
Sophia Mahoney
Adam Millington
Shane Patterson
Rachel Petragallo
Sipha Phaophongsavath
Robert Rawson
Jaclyn Ray
Tim Riley
Nickolas Rollins
Lance Stalker
David Stephens
Garrett Stevens
Derek Strasters
Thomas Stucky
Chris Walthers
Bingran Wang
Kenneth Williams
Zhouheng Xu

Kevin Davenport
Barun Gupta
Jeremy Jorgensen
Henrik Odeen
Jonathan Richards
Bijaya Thapa
Edward Thenell
Zachary Zundel
Kapildeb Ambal
Carl Ebeling
Anil Ghimire
David Harris
Uyen Huynh
Josh Kaggie
Henrick Odeen
Adam Payne
Anne Marie Schaeffer
Ruiyao Wang
Peng Yang

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Going Dark to See the Night Sky

Join the University of Utah's Department of Physics & Astronomy as we go dark for our first annual “International Dark Skies Week”, to spread awareness of light pollution.
All events are free and open to the public.

Tuesday, April 13:
Science Movie Night: Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure
7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
The City Library
Free & open to the public

With a post-film discussion led by Dr. Pearl Sandick, Assistant Professor at the Department of Physics & Astronomy. Brought to you by the Natural History Museum of Utah in partnership with the Utah Film Center and the Salt Lake City Public Library.

Learn more...

Wednesday, April 14: Star Party,
7:00 pm - 11:30 pm
South Physics Observatory
Free & open to the public

Let our observatory guides take you on a tour of the night sky! Learn more...

From the International Dark Sky Association website:

"Dark Sky Week Goals

  • Inspire people to celebrate the beauty of the night sky
  • Raise awareness about the negative effects of light pollution
  • Embolden folks to Take Action!

IYL2015logoInternational Year Of Light 2015

The United Nations has declared 2015 the International Year of Light and Light-based Technologies (IYL2015), commemorating the achievements of light science, its applications, and its contributions to humankind. IDA is committed to being an active participant in IYL2015 activities and events during International Dark Sky Week 2015 and throughout the year.

  • Day 1 (Monday, 4/13)Why Light Pollution Matters. Get a basic overview of light pollution including what it is and how it happens.
  • Day 2 (Tuesday, 4/14)Environmental Harms. See how light pollution puts animals and entire ecosystems at risk.
  • Day 3 (Wednesday, 4/15)Ill Health. Learn how light at night can be dangerous to human health.
  • Day 4 (Thursday, 4/16)Energy Waste. Find out how light pollution squanders energy and money and contributes to climate change.
  • Day 5 (Friday, 4/17) Safety & Crime. Learn why more and brighter lights can actually make us less safe.
  • Day 6 (Saturday, 4/18)Stars are Our Heritage. Discover why the night sky is important for humanity.
  • Day 7 (Sunday, 4/19)Take Action! Find out how you can simply and quickly make a difference."

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Earthlike ‘Star Wars’ Tatooines may be common

Simulations dispute dogma: rocky planets may orbit many double stars


In this acrylic painting, University of Utah astrophysicist Ben Bromley envisions the view of a double sunset from an uninhabited Earthlike planet orbiting a pair of binary stars. In a new study, Bromley and Scott Kenyon of the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory performed mathematical analysis and simulations showing that it is possible for a rocky planet to form around binary stars, like Luke Skywalker’s home planet Tatooine in the “Star Wars” films. So far, NASA’s Kepler space telescope has found only gas-giant planets like Saturn or Neptune orbiting binary stars. Photo Credit: Ben Bromley, University of Utah

Luke Skywalker’s home in “Star Wars” is the desert planet Tatooine, with twin sunsets because it orbits two stars. So far, only uninhabitable gas-giant planets have been identified circling such binary stars, and many researchers believe rocky planets cannot form there. Now, mathematical simulations show that Earthlike, solid planets such as Tatooine likely exist and may be widespread.

“Tatooine sunsets may be common after all,” concludes the study by astrophysicists Ben Bromley of the University of Utah and Scott Kenyon of the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory.

“Our main result is that outside a small region near a binary star, [either rocky or gas-giant] planet formation can proceed in much the same way as around a single star,” they write. “In our scenario, planets are as prevalent around binaries as around single stars.”

The study has been submitted to Astrophysical Journal for review, but as is the custom in the field, the authors have posted the unreviewed paper on the scientific preprint website ArXiv (pronounced archive).

With “Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens” due to hit movie screens Dec. 18, fans of the epic series may be cheered at the possible reality of planets like Tatooine, home planet of both Luke and Anakin Skywalker, meeting place of Obi Wan Kenobi and Han Solo and the domain ruled (until his death in battle) by crime lord Jabba the Hutt. Luke stares at Tatooine’s double suns setting in a classic film moment.

The title of the new study is “Planet formation around binary stars: Tatooine made easy,” but the paper looks anything but easy: it is filled with mathematical formulas describing how binary stars can be orbited by planetesimals – asteroid-sized rocks that clump together to form planets.

“We took our sweet numerical time to show that the ride around a pair of stars can be just as smooth as around one,” when it comes to the early steps of planet formation, Bromley says. “The ‘made easy’ part is really saying the same recipe that works around the sun will work around Tatooine’s host stars.”

The study was funded by NASA’s Outer Planets Program and was a spinoff of Bromley’s and Kenyon’s research into how dwarf planet Pluto and its major moon, Charon, act like a binary system. Both are orbited by four other moons.

The study may be found at: http://arxiv.org/abs/1503.03876

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