Alexi Arango’s research focuses on advancing renewable energy by employing new semiconductors in the production of solar cells. His lab studies how quantum dots, molecular dyes, metal oxides, and other novel semiconductors can be incorporated into third generation solar cells that are both highly efficient and less expensive to manufacture than conventional solar cells employing silicon.
In 2010, Arango was awarded funding from the National Science Foundation’s Early-concept Grants for Exploratory Research Program for his project with Professor Janice Hudgings on increasing organic LED lifetime through improved thermal management. He has received funding from the Nation Science Foundation’s Major Research Instrumentation Program. Arango holds ten patents in fields ranging from electrophoretic displays to light emitting diodes and solar cells.
In August 2011, Arango joined President Lynn Pasquerella’s team working with the African Center for Engineering Social Changes in Kenya. There, he consulted with rural communities on the feasibility of solar panel production in rural settings.
At MHC, Arango teaches courses on renewable energy, electromagnetism, mathematical methods for scientists, and intermediate laboratory. In his teaching, Arango employs methods developed by physics education research (PER) to increase student retention and conceptual understanding. In Alexi's courses, students learn by actively thinking, doing, and sharing.
Alexi resides in an energy-efficient “passive” house, whose design is partly inspired by his teaching. The home showcases many of the concepts covered in Renewable Energy and Electromagnetism.