Susanna Thon

AssOCIATE Professor

Research Interests

  • Renewable energy conversion and storage
  • Photovoltaics
  • Optoelectronics
  • Nanoengineering and nanophotonics
  • Scalable fabrication
  • Quantum optics

Susanna M. Thon is an associate professor of electrical and computer engineering. She studies nanomaterials engineering for optoelectronic devices, with a focus on solar energy conversion and sensing.

Her work applies techniques from nanophotonics and scalable fabrication to produce devices and materials with novel optical and electrical functionality. Thon’s team is currently working on a number of projects, including the development of plasmonic-photocatalytic systems that use nanoparticles containing aluminum to enhance light absorption in titanium dioxide. Team members are also researching ways to use nanostructured materials, such as colloidal quantum dots and plasmonic metal nanoparticles, to build multicolored, transparent, and next-generation devices.

Insights from Thon’s research on photovoltaics are helping to push the boundaries of efficiency and cost-effectiveness through the use of flexible platforms and new materials. Using 3-D printing, Thon and her colleagues recently developed a flexible and transparent lens array that can increase the amount of power produced by solar cells twentyfold.

Thon’s work has received funding from the American Chemical Society, National Science Foundation, Maryland Energy Innovation Institute, Cohen Translational Engineering Fund, and the U.S. Army. She is the recipient of an NSF CAREER Award and the Johns Hopkins’ Catalyst and Discovery awards. More than 45 of her research papers have been published in peer-reviewed journals.

Thon serves as chair of the Optical Society of America’s Optics for Energy Technical Group. She is a member of the American Association of University Professors, American Chemical Society, American Physical Society, Association for Women in Science, Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineers, and Materials Research Society.

She received her bachelor’s degree from MIT in 2005 and her master’s and PhD (all in Physics) from the University of California Santa Barbara in 2008 and 2010, respectively. Prior to joining Johns Hopkins in 2013, she worked as a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Toronto.

Journal Articles
  • Xie T, Hasan MR, Qiu B, Arinze ES, Nguyen NV, Motayed A, Thon SM, Debnath R (2015).  High-performing visible-blind photodetectors based on SnO2/CuO nanoheterojunctions.  Applied Physics Letters.  107(24).
  • Kramer IJ, Minor JC, Moreno-Bautista G, Rollny L, Kanjanaboos P, Kopilovic D, Thon SM, Carey GH, Chou KW, Zhitomirsky D, Amassian A, Sargent EH (2015).  Efficient spray-coated colloidal quantum dot solar cells.  Advanced Materials.  27(1).  116-121.
  • Labelle AJ, Thon SM, Kim JY, Lan X, Zhitomirsky D, Kemp KW, Sargent EH (2015).  Conformal fabrication of colloidal quantum dot solids for optically enhanced photovoltaics.  ACS Nano.  9(5).  5447-5453.
  • Labelle AJ, Thon SM, Masala S, Adachi MM, Dong H, Farahani M, Ip AH, Fratalocchi A, Sargent EH (2015).  Colloidal quantum dot solar cells exploiting hierarchical structuring.  Nano Letters.  15(2).  1101-1108.
  • Carey GH, Abdelhady AL, Ning Z, Thon SM, Bakr OM, Sargent EH (2015).  Colloidal Quantum Dot Solar Cells.  Chemical Reviews.  115(23).  12732-12763.
  • Arinze ES, Nyirjesy G, Cheng Y, PalmquisT. N, Thon SM (2015).  Colloidal quantum dot materials for infrared optoelectronics.  Proceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering.  9608.
Book Chapters
Conference Proceedings
  • Arinze ES, Nyirjesy G, Cheng Y, Palmquist N, Thon S (2015).  Colloidal quantum dot materials for infrared optoelectronics.  Proceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering.
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