• Mitsch Lecture in Chemistry 2017

    2017 3M/Ronald A. Mitsch Lecture in Chemistry

    Meeting the Clean Energy Demand with Nanotechnology

    Guest Lecturer

    Prashant Kamat

    Prashant V. Kamat
    Professor of science, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry and Radiation Laboratory, University of Notre Dame

    Friday, April 21 at 12:45 p.m.
    Sundin Music Hall, 1531 Hewitt Avenue,
    Saint Paul, Minnesota

    The abundant light energy that we receive from the sun can be readily converted into electrical energy or chemical energy. While silicon solar cell technology is becoming competitive in power generation, new advanced materials are needed to meet the clean energy demand. Recent advances in nanotechnology have championed many new materials to capture and convert light energy. Semiconductor nanostructures with tunable photoresponse can capture the visible and near IR photons quite effectively. Assembling semiconductor nanostructures on electrode surfaces in a controlled fashion is an attractive approach for designing next generation solar cells. The key advantage of semiconductor nanostructures lies in designing thin film solar cells with low temperature processing. These advantages significantly decrease the energy payback time since less energy is consumed (and hence a lower carbon footprint is created) during their manufacture. Thin film solar cells are now considered the potential contender for photovoltaics. Light induced charge carrier generation and transport across interfaces, which are important in the operation of solar cells, will be discussed.

    Prashant V. Kamat is a Rev. John A. Zahm, CSC, Professor of Science in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry and Radiation Laboratory at the University of Notre Dame. He is also a concurrent professor in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering. Kamat earned his doctoral degree in physical chemistry from Bombay University in 1979. He conducted postdoctoral research at Boston University and the University of Texas at Austin. In 1983, he joined Notre Dame, where he has worked for nearly three decades developing advanced nanomaterials that promise cleaner and more efficient light energy conversion.

  • About the Mitsch Lectures in Chemistry

    The 3M/Ronald A. Mitsch Lectures in Chemistry are part of the 3M/Ronald A. Mitsch Endowed Fund in Chemistry, established in 1998 by the 3M Foundation in recognition and appreciation of Dr. Mitsch. The fund is intended to promote new connections and pioneering efforts between education and industry as an essential basis for the education of chemists who are prepared to meet the challenges and opportunities of the 21st century and beyond. Dr. Mitsch, a 1956 graduate of Hamline University’s College of Liberal Arts, began his career at 3M in 1960 as a research chemist. He earned 19 patents.

    In 1998, he retired from 3M as vice chairman of the board and executive vice president of the Industrial and Consumer Sector, Corporate Services. He is a Hamline University life trustee.

  • Past Lectures


    "New Chemical Probe Technologies: Applications to Cancer Imaging and Drug Discovery." Matthew Bogyo, Stanford University School of Medicine


    "Got Fakes? New Ways to Detect Counterfeit Pharmaceuticals." Dr. Marya Lieberman, University of Notre Dame


    "Biological and Ecological Toxicity of Engineered Nanomaterials." Dr. Christy L. Haynes, University of Minnesota


    "Recent Developments in the Peaceful Use of Chemistry: Eliminating the Chemical Weapons Threat." Ambassador Robert Mikulak '64


    "From Toxicology Mechanisms to Translational Medicine: Paracelsus Meets Sarandib." Dr. Daniel G. Baden, University of North Carolina at Wilmington


    “The Aging Brain and What We are Trying To Do About It.” Dr. Gregory A. Petsko, Brandeis University 


     "The Golden Age of Pharmaceuticals." Dr. Cynthia A. Maryanoff, Stanford University


     Dr. Richard N. Zare, Stanford University


    "Applications of Olefin Metathesis Catalysts: Fundamental Research to Commercial Products." Dr. Robert H. Grubbs, California Institute of Technology 


    Dr. JoAnne Stubbe, Massachusetts Institute of Technology


    Chemical Studies of Violence, Sex, and Drugs in the Insect World." Dr. Jerrold Meinwald, Cornell University