Economic Development

University of Mississippi

Featured Researcher:

Jared Delcamp, Assistant Professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry

Capitalizing on tremendous room for growth in the solar energy sector, Jared Delcamp, assistant professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, is the leader of a renewable energy research laboratory at the University of Mississippi. With the goal of converting solar energy into more readily usable energy forms, Delcamp’s laboratory focuses on the generation of electrical energy and the generation of chemical energy.

Delcamp’s research examines the use of organic molecules to convert sunlight to electricity, a next-generation solar technology that has potential to be more efficient and more affordable than the silicon solar cells in common use. The organic solar cells studied by Delcamp can be printed with machinery similar to traditional newspaper presses, and like the ink used in newspaper printing, the organic molecules Delcamp works with can be processed with a solution that is allowed to dry on a solar cell device, similar to ink drying on paper.

Because of the affordability of the organic material and its processing, the technology may ultimately lead to solar energy that is less expensive than electricity produced by coal.

Before joining the UM faculty in 2013, Delcamp was at the University of Kentucky, where he earned his bachelor’s degree, then studied organometallic chemistry at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he received his doctorate. He completed postdoctoral fellowships at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology and the Georgia Institute of Technology. Delcamp’s research areas are synthetic organic chemistry for molecular electronics and reduction of CO2 to fuels through organometallic chemistry.

Delcamp’s research is poised to play a critical role in meeting future energy needs and helping move the nation toward energy independence. Today, solar energy provides less than one percent of the total energy consumed by Americans. And while the amount of utility-scale solar electricity capacity in the U.S. has increased in recent years, it still produces the least among the renewable sources of hydroelectric, biomass, and wind.

UM has filed a patent application on the use of the materials and is seeking a corporate partner to commercialize the technology. To learn more, visit www.delcampgroup.com.

Note: this profile includes excerpts from “ Great Strides,” which appears in the fall 2015 issue of Change Agents