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Michael Boles

RELP Cohort: 2017
School: Humanities and Sciences

Michael Boles is a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Chemistry at Stanford University. His research focuses on the development of new chemical approaches to produce low-cost and non-toxic materials for solar and lighting applications. He is currently investigating structural and optical properties of inorganic and hybrid perovskite compounds, a class of crystalline semiconductor at the heart of the fastest-advancing solar technology to date.

As a PhD student and McCormick Fellow at the University of Chicago, Michael worked with colloidal nanocrystals, nanometer-sized pieces of inorganic material of interest as building blocks for solution-processed optoelectronic devices. His thesis, including first-author publications in Nature Materials, Science, and JACS, presented a framework for harnessing the self-organization of nanocrystals to produce intricately patterned arrays with tailored functionality. As a result, self-assembled nanocrystal superlattices are recognized as a compelling platform for the design of low-cost solar cells, thermoelectric devices for the collection of waste heat, and membranes for reverse-osmosis filtration.

At UChicago Michael was also engaged in science outreach, leading chemistry and physics demonstrations with south side elementary and middle school students and encouraging the pursuit of careers in STEM. He spent years abroad in Cordoba, Argentina and Berlin, Germany and is proficient in Spanish and German. An Eagle Scout, he has enjoyed hiking and snowboarding in the Appalachian mountains, the Rockies, and the Alps. Michael received a BS with honors in Chemistry from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he was a Coca-Cola Scholar.