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Spotlight on Associate Professor André Taylor

André Taylor is using nanotechnology to develop new types of fuel cells, batteries, and solar cells, with the aim of making them as efficient and powerful — yet safe and reliable — as possible.

He has recently been in the news for a series of breakthroughs: in a recent exciting development, he helped solve one of the major challenges in fabricating perovskite cells — a low-cost alternative to conventional silicon-based solar cells. While perovskite solar cells are already being commercialized on a small scale, Taylor and his colleagues developed the innovative and scalable method of uniformly spray-coating the critical electron transport layer (ETL) over the crystalline surface of the perovskite, making it suitable for manufacturing large panels. The concise, highly reproducible process results in a 30 percent efficiency gain over other ETLs and fewer defects. (That research was published in the journal Nanoscale, which ranked it among the most popular articles of 2018.)

Just a few months later, he used an innovative technique to produce relatively low-cost Electromagnetic interference (EMI)-blocking composite films — important because EMI can harm smartphones, tablets, chips, drones, wearables, and even aircraft and human health, and it is increasing with the explosive proliferation of devices that generate it. (The market for EM-blocking solutions, which employ conductive or magnetic materials, is expected to surpass $7 billion by 2022.)

Taylor — who came to NYU Tandon following a tenured professorship at Yale, where he headed the Transformative Materials and Devices Group in the Chemical and Environmental Engineering Department — has traced his interest in renewable energy back to his days as a Boy Scout and Eagle Scout, when he became aware of the importance of preserving the planet.

His determination to apply his technology for the benefit of society and his deep commitment to scientific rigor are admirable — as are his collaborative spirit and eagerness to share the limelight. When asked about his Presidential Early Career Award, the highest honor bestowed by the U.S. government on outstanding young scientists and engineers, he is quick to point out that his wife, Jacquelyn Taylor, who holds an endowed chair at NYU’s Rory Meyers College of Nursing, has been a recipient of the prestigious prize as well.