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Chen Receives $100,000 Grant for Nanoscale Materials & Sensors Research

A startup company, Advanced Semiconductor Processing Technology (ASPT), LLC, has awarded an $80,000 grant to Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering Zhi David Chen for research at the University of Kentucky on novel perovskite solar cells. ASPT also provided $23,000 in-kind support to buy a glove box for UK solar cell research.

ASPT was founded in 2011 to commercialize Dr. Chen’s UK research results. At UK, Dr. Chen had been working on nanostructured materials and devices funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) through the NSF Nanoscale Interdisciplinary Research Team (NIRT) Program with a $1.2M grant. Chen invented moisture sensors that were built from nanostructured materials on conductive substrates. In 2012, ASPT received a grant from KSEF for further development of the moisture sensors. In 2014, ASPT received a private investment for further development and manufacturing scale up. Currently, the company is finalizing the pilot production and plans to manufacture products in large scale based on market demanding.

The board members of the company felt that it is beneficial to fund solar cell research at UK because clean energy is of paramount importance to U.S. and the world,” said Dr. Chen. “The world market for clean energy is huge. When the technology becomes practical, the company is benefited by taking the technology for commercialization. Therefore, both UK and ASPT may make the world better!”