An Oregon teenager has been honored for his work on making solar cells more efficiently.
Brian McCarthy of Liberty High School from Hillsboro, Oregon placed third and won a $50,000 scholarship in the 2008 Intel Science Talent Search:
In his research, Brian McCarthy, 18, from Hillsboro, Oregon, investigated the viability of plastic solar cells as a new option in solar energy technology. Using interfacially polymerized combinations of porphyrins and phthalocyanines – plant-like photosynthetic materials found in nature that are photoactive and photoconducting (both properties of functioning solar cells) – he synthesized extremely thin, fragile films for potential use as solar cells and tested them using scanning electron microscopy techniques. Brian’s novel polymer films responded electrically to light, indicating that they could act as solar cells and offer a less expensive option to current silicon-based solar cell technology.