CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholar 2017-2019
Bio-inspired Solar Energy
Nathaniel Gabor aims to discover new energy harvesting and storage processes in complex quantum mechanical systems, and use such processes to dramatically alter the current evolution of energy technologies.
Quantum mechanics is a theoretical description of reality that has been used to understand numerous phenomena at atomic and subatomic scales. It is among the most successful scientific theories, exhibiting not one single contradiction in nearly a century since its inception. In the coming decades, the discovery of quantum phenomena in various scientific realms promises to revolutionize science, technology and society.
In biology, the quantum effects of photosynthesis are still being unravelled, while the miniaturization of integrated circuits forces us to confront quantum mechanics head-on. By exploring fundamental questions – how can energy be stored more efficiently? how do we manage and transfer energy in highly complex systems? why are plants green? – Gabor aims to challenge current paradigms of light energy harvesting technologies and unravel the bizarre and unintuitive behaviour that emerges in molecular and atomic scale systems. By incorporating emerging quantum materials into nanoscale devices, his team envisions a distinct field of research that explores quantum systems, using precision techniques and concepts inspired by the biological processes of photosynthesis.
- Research Corporation for Science Advancement Scialog Fellow, 2017
- U.S. National Science Foundation CAREER Award, 2017
- RCSA Cottrell Scholar Award, 2017
- University of California Riverside Junior Faculty Excellence in Teaching (JET) Award, 2015
Barati, F. et al. “Hot carrier-enhanced electron-hole pair multiplication in 2D semiconductor heterostructure photocells.” Nature Nanotechnology (2017).
Arp, T.B. et al. “Natural regulation of energy flow in a green quantum photocell.” Nano Letters (2016).
Ma, Q. et al. “Tuning ultrafast electron thermalization pathways in a van der Waals heterostructure.” Nature Physics 12 (2016): 455–59.
Gabor, N. et al. “Hot-carrier assisted intrinsic photoresponse in graphene.” Science 334 (2011): 648–52.
Gabor, N. et al. “Extremely efficient multiple electron-hole pair generation in carbon nanotube photodiodes.” Science 325 (2009): 1367–1371.
CIFAR is a registered charitable organization supported by the governments of Canada, Alberta and Quebec, as well as foundations, individuals, corporations and Canadian and international partner organizations.