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Christopher Warkentin

Upconversion is a multiphoton process by which lower energy light is converted to higher energy light. In recent years, upconversion has shown promise toward improving the efficiency of solar cells by converting light that is typically wasted into usable wavelengths. I have discovered a new upconverting material, which readily undergoes emission in the visible region when irradiated with low-power infrared light. Importantly, the material is derived from earth-abundant, non-toxic, and inexpensive precursor compounds, and shows potential as a more sustainable alternative to established infrared upconverting materials. I am characterizing the structural and optical properties of this material in order to gain a mechanistic understanding of both the material synthesis and emission pathways involved in this process. The result of this investigation will guide the development of a new commercial product for use in new high-efficiency solar cell technologies.