Csaba Guthy

Amin Valiei
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Your profile – the WHO, the WHAT and the WHY

I received my M.Sc. in Physics from the University of Debrecen, Hungary in 2001 and a Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering from the University of Pennsylvania in 2007. I have conducted extensive research in the areas of heat transfer at the nanometer scale (in nanowires and carbon nanotube/polymer composites) and development of nanomechanical resonator arrays for early disease diagnosis.

My current research focuses on the development of novel energy harvesting and conversion technologies. On earth, sunlight provides the most abundant source of free energy. If harvested efficiently, it would enable us to replace the currently used non-renewable sources of energy, such as fossil fuels and nuclear power, with a sustainable power generation system. Although solar cells convert sunlight into electricity with reasonably high efficiencies (~20%), they also suffer from disadvantages such as high cost and low power density (they require a large, unobstructed area where sunlight strikes). Traditional solar cells cannot utilize the infrared (heat) portion of the sunlight. We therefore are working on developing alternative, low cost, low maintenance technologies that would utilize the complete sunlight spectrum (including infrared) and also enable the use of concentrated solar light for small footprint and high efficiencies.