Hamline News

18th Annual Mitsch Lecture in Chemistry


Guest Lecturer Prashant V. Kamat will be giving the 18th annual 3M/Ronald A. Mitsch Lecture in Chemistry titled, “Meeting the Clean Energy Demand with Nanotechnology.” Join the Chemistry Department on Friday, April 21 at 12:45 p.m. to hear about Kamat’s research on how to more efficiently use nanotechnology to convert light into energy.

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 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.

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.