Low-cost Renewable Electricity

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A worker cleans a photovoltaic solar panel

Project overview: Development of pyrite iron disulfide (FeS2), an Earth-abundant chemical, as a sustainable light-absorbing material for low-cost solar cells. Capitalizing on their recent discoveries, the researchers are investigating two related approaches to making pyrite-based solar cells that have never previously been possible: 1) making solar cells only from FeS2 and 2) combining FeS2 with silicon to reduce the cost of commercial silicon solar cells.

Read the Grant Proposal

Project Leads

  • Chris Leighton, Distinguished McKnight University professor, College of Science & Engineering
  • Eray Aydil, CSE professor and Ronald A. and Janet L. Christianson Chair in Renewable Energy (*now New York University)
  • Laura Gagliardi, Distinguished McKnight University professor, College of Science & Engineering

Project Partners

  • tenK Solar Inc.
  • Physical Electronics Inc.


This project is 1 of 4 projects supported by IonE’s Renewable Electricity for Minnesota’s Future grant program from August, 2015 to February, 2020.

To view the Final Program Presentation, click here.

To view the Final Program Report, click here.