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Honors and Awards

Julian Minuzzo, BS/MS Student in Materials Science, Wins Gotaas Award

Winning paper describes low-cost self-assembly process for making solar cells

Samuel I. Stupp (at left), Julian Minuzzo, and Associate Dean for Undergraduate Engineering Stephen Carr

Julian Minuzzo, a Northwestern senior pursing a BS/MS degree in materials science and engineering, has won the 2013 Harold B. Gotaas Undergraduate Research Award from the McCormick School of Engineering.

The award, named in honor of McCormick’s third dean, is given annually to the senior who presents the best research paper in the competition.

In “A Self Assembled Organic/Inorganic Lamellar Hybrid Nanostructure for Photovoltaic Applications,” Minuzzo described his process for making solar cells with an ordered nanostructure that is ideal for charge separation and conduction. During solar cell fabrication, perpendicularly aligned layers of electron-donating and electron-accepting materials self-assemble into the ideal solar cell structure.  

The work was conducted under the advising of Samuel I. Stupp, Board of Trustees Professor of Materials Science, Chemistry, and Medicine and director of Northwestern’s Institute for BioNanotechnology in Medicine and the Simpson and Querrey Center for Regenerative Nanomedicine.

“Julian has been as essential part of the solar cell efforts in my group and has worked with us for over three years,” Stupp wrote in his letter of support. “He made substantial contributions to this project, and his work will be featured in the publication we are currently preparing about our solar research. We are very proud of Julian’s accomplishments.”

Students presented their work on Tuesday, May 14, in Cohen Commons on the fourth floor of the Technological Institute.

Minuzzo, who is pursuing McCormick’s five-year combined BS/MS program, will graduate in June with his bachelor’s degree and return this summer to complete coursework for his master’s.