Knowledge and solutions for a changing world

Hugh W. Hillhouse

Hugh HillhouseRehnberg Chair Professor

Office: Molecular Engineering & Sciences Building, Room 123
Phone: 206-685-5257
Fax: 206-685-3451

Education and Appointments

  • B.S. Chemical Engineering, Clemson University, 1995
  • M.S. Chemical Engineering, University of Washington, 1996
  • M.S. Physics, University of Massachusetts, 2000
  • Ph.D. Chemical Engineering, University of Massachusetts, 2000
  • NSF International Postdoctoral Fellow, Nanoscopic Physics, Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands, 2000-2002
  • Assistant Professor, Chemical Engineering, Purdue University, 2002-2007
  • Associate Professor, Chemical Engineering, Purdue University, 2007-2010
  • Visiting Scholar (Sabbatical), National Renewable Energy Laboratory, 2008-2009
  • Harry A. & Metta R. Rehnberg Chair Professorship, University of Washington, 2010-present

Research Interests

  • Solar Energy Conversion (CIGS, CZTS, Hybrid Perovskite, and tandem solar cells, device physics and architecture, simulations)
  • Nanomaterials (nanocrystals, nanowires, quantum size effects)
  • Colloidal & Interfacial Phenomena (self-assembly, nucleation & growth)
  • Electrochemistry (semiconductor electrochemistry, fuel cells, batteries)
Hillhouse’s research lies at the nexus of nanomaterials and energy conversion. Within the realm of molecular and nanoscale science many new molecules, nanocrystals, electronic materials, and device architectures can be envisioned that may be able to address our current energy harvesting, utilization, and storage challenges. However, the scientific understanding of the chemistry and fundamental processes involved and the engineering necessary to develop economic and sustainable solutions is still in its infancy. Research efforts within the group span the range from fundamental studies of molecular precursor chemistry, nanocrystal nucleation and growth, and materials defect chemistry to device fabrication, characterization, and modeling of solar cells and fuel cells to system-level analyses of the life-cycle and impact of potential new technologies. This system-level approach is used to identify opportunities, avoid unforeseen consequences (like indirect market effects and environmental issues), and enlighten the molecular and nanoscale approaches we develop. Please see the Hillhouse Research Group Website to learn more.

Opportunities for Undergraduate, Graduate, and Postdoctoral Researchers

The Hillhouse Group typically has openings for undergraduate researchers, graduate students seeking a PhD or MS, and postdoctoral researchers. Please see the Group's website for more information and a list of openings.





Hillhouse has developed and taught graduate courses on: (1) Advanced Solar Energy Conversion, (2) Electrochemistry, (3) X-ray and Neutron Scattering Methods, (4) Nanomaterials Chemistry and Engineering, and (5) Transport Phenomena. He has also developed an undergraduate course on the Principles of Molecular Engineering which is offered every year. He has been recognized for his teaching and received the Shreve Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching from Purdue University.

Selected Publications

  • Collord, A.D., Xin, H., and Hillhouse, H.W., “Combinatorial Exploration of the Effects of Intrinsic and Extrinsic Defects in Cu2ZnSn(S,Se)4," Journal of Photovoltaics (2014), DOI: 10.1109/jphotov.2014.2361053. Link to article

  • Katahara, J.K. and Hillhouse, H.W., “Quasi-Fermi level splitting and Sub-bandgap Absorptivity from Semiconductor Photoluminescence” Journal of Applied Physics 116, 173504 (2014), DOI: 10.1063/1.4898346. Link to article

  • Xin, H., Katahara, J.K., Braly, I.L., and Hillhouse, H.W., “8% Efficient Cu2ZnSn(S,Se)4 Solar Cells from Redox Equilibrated Simple Precursors in DMSO,” Advanced Energy Materials 4 (11), 1301823 (2014), Link to article

  • McCarthy, R.F., and Hillhouse, H.W., “A simple model for voltage-dependent carrier collection efficiency in solar cells,” Journal of Applied Physics 115, 143703 (2014). Link to article

  • Bucherl, C.N., Oleson, K. R., and Hillhouse, H.W., “Thin film solar cells from sintered nanocrystals,” Current Opinion in Chemical Engineering 2 (2), 168-177, (2013). Link to article

  • Guo, Q., Ford, G. M., Agrawal, R., Hillhouse, H. W., “Ink formulation and low-temperature incorporation of sodium to yield 12% efficient Cu(In,Ga)(S,Se)2 solar cells from sulfide nanocrystal inks,” Progress in Photovoltaics: Research and Applications 21 (1), 64-73 (2013). Link to article