Assistant professor of Chemical Engineering Lei Zhu has been awarded one of just eight 2005 DuPont Young Professor Grants presented to North American researchers. Dr. Zhu’s research investigates the synthesis and self-assembly of carbon nanotube-based liquid crystalline materials, and characterization and design of useful nanotechnology devices for the development of novel photovoltaics and nanotransistors. Dr. Zhu will receive $25,000 yearly for three years.
Photovoltaic systems use semiconductor technology to convert sunlight directly into electricity. In the absence of sunlight, batteries store energy. Photovoltaics may be used to power calculators, lights, water pumps, homes and even industrial facilities. Transistors are used in countless applications, from radios to Blackberry handheld computers.
Recipients of the prestigious award are nominated by DuPont personnel based upon the originality of their research programs. Through the award, DuPont assists young faculty members who are within five years of their tenured appointment. The grants are intended to encourage highly original research of value to DuPont while helping the recipients begin their academic research careers. The Corporate Center for Collaborative Research and Education (CCRE) and the DuPont Fellows Forum (DFF) sponsor the grant program.
Dr. Zhu joined the Chemical Engineering Department in fall 2002 with a specialty in polymer science. He earned his Ph.D. in polymer science from the University of Akron in 2000.