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Hugh W. Hillhouse

Faculty Photo

Harry & Metta Rehnberg Chair
Chemical Engineering


  • Ph.D. Chemical Engineering, University of Massachusetts, 2000
  • M.S. Physics, University of Massachusetts, 2000
  • M.S. Chemical Engineering, University of Washington, 1996
  • B.S. Chemical Engineering, Clemson University, 1995

Previous appointments

  • Visiting Scholar (Sabbatical), National Renewable Energy Laboratory, 2008-2009
  • Associate Professor, Chemical Engineering, Purdue University, 2007-2010
  • Assistant Professor, Chemical Engineering, Purdue University, 2002-2007
  • NSF International Postdoctoral Fellow, Nanoscopic Physics, Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands, 2000-2002

Research Statement

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.

Select publications

  1. Braly, I.L., deQuilettes, D.W., Pazos-Outón, L.M., Burke, S., Ziffer, M.E., Ginger, D.S., Hillhouse, H.W., “Hybrid Perovskite Films Approaching the Radiative Limit with over 90% Internal Photoluminescence Quantum Efficiency,” Nature Photonics 12 (6), 355-361, (2018). 80 Citations as of 9/2019.
  2. Rajagopal, A., Stoddard, R.J., Jo, S.B., Hillhouse, H.W., Jen, A.K-Y., “Overcoming the Photovoltage Plateau in Large Bandgap Perovskite Photovoltaics,” Nano Letters 18 (6), 3985-3993, (2018). 23 Citations as of 9/2019.
  3. Stoddard, R.J., Eickemeyer, F.T., Katahara, J.K., Hillhouse, H.W., “Correlation between Photoluminescence and Carrier Transport and a Simple In Situ Passivation Method for High-Bandgap Hybrid Perovskites,” J. Phys. Chem. Lett. 8 (14), 3289-3298, (2017). 23 Citations as of 9/2019. [Selected as ACS Editor's Choice]
  4. Collord, A.D., Hillhouse, H.W., "Germanium Alloyed Kesterite Solar Cells with Low Voltage Deficits," Chemistry of Materials 28 (7), 2067-2073, (2016). 69 Citations as of 9/2019.
  5. Xin, H., Vorpahl, S.M., Collord, A.D., Braly, I.L., Uhl, A.R., Krueger, B.W., Ginger, D.S., and Hillhouse, H.W., "Lithium-doping inverts the nanoscale electric field at the grain boundaries in Cu2ZnSn(S,Se)4 and increases photovoltaic efficiency", Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics 17, 23859-23866, (2015). 91 Citations as of 9/2019.
  6. Ki, W. & Hillhouse,* H.W., “Earth Abundant Element Photovoltaics Directly from Soluble Precursors using a Non-Toxic Solvent,” Advanced Energy Materials 1 (5), 732-735 (2011). 277 Citations as of 9/2019.
  7. Guo, Q.J., Kim, S.J., Kar, M., Shafarman, W.N., Birkmire, R.W., Stach, E.A., Agrawal, R., Hillhouse, H.W., “Development of CuInSe2 Nanocrystal and Nanoring Inks for Low-Cost Solar Cells,” Nano Letters 8, 9, 2982-2987 (2008). 606 Citations as of 9/2019.

Honors & awards

  • Outstanding Young Alumni Award (Clemson University College of Engineering), 2011
  • STAR Professor, State of Washington, 2010
  • University Faculty Scholar Award, Purdue, 2009
  • Shreve Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching from Purdue, 2009
  • National Academy of Engineering, Frontiers of Engineering Program, 2007
  • NSF CAREER Award, 2002