Dennis Ashford, a graduate student mentored by Professors Thomas Meyer and Joseph Templeton, has successfully defended his doctoral thesis. Dennis's research concerns how increasing demand for energy and the possible environmental impact of burning fossil fuels has resulted in the pursuit to discover a renewable energy source that circumvents these problems. The sun provides sufficient energy every hour to satisfy global energy consumption for an entire year, making it an attractive and probable long-term solution to alternative fuel sources.
Dennis's focus in this area of exploration has been on building spatially controlled, multi-component films at metal oxide electrodes for use as photoanodes in solar fuel generation. The team members he has been working with have recently demonstrated the use of electropolymerization as a viable synthetic strategy to not only build these films and carry out photocatalytic water oxidation, but also as a way to stabilize the complexes at the metal oxide interface.
Following graduation, Dennis will be working at Eastman Chemical Company in Kingsport, TN, as a Research Chemist. The thrust of his continued research there will be on alternative transparent conductive metal oxides, TCOs, for use in electronic displays.