A group of physics students from the University of El Salvador (UES) has been selected by a Mexican editorial to be featured in a book titled “Latin America Facing the Challenge of Renewable Energies,” becoming the only representatives from the rest of Latin America in the publication authored by Mexican experts.
The recognition for these students came after receiving two awards for their environmentally friendly prototype designs from the University of Purdue in Indianapolis, Indiana, in 2022. This achievement propelled them to contribute to a chapter in a book published by the University of Valle de Atemajac (Univa).
The members of the Optical Spectroscopy Laboratory at the School of Physics within the Faculty of Natural Sciences and Mathematics at UES compiled their research and evidence dating back to 2011. Their work became Chapter 6 of the Univa edition entitled “Latin America Facing the Challenge of Renewable Energies.”
Being selected by this prestigious university, one of Mexico’s top 50 institutions, is a victory for these young students as they now share initiatives with highly accomplished Mexican researchers.
“We were invited to contribute a chapter to the book. There is limited data from our region that is published, so we requested that our research conducted solely in El Salvador be disseminated,” shared Physics student Óscar Deodanes.
Deodanes worked alongside Nelson Cisneros, Juan Carlos Menjívar, Alejandro Portillo, Marvin Ramos, Jorge Cuadra, and Hamilton Ponce under the scientific guidance of Carlos Rudamas. They present their research on the utilization of nanostructures for environmentally friendly applications. Through data collection in El Salvador and the creation of prototypes, the team discovered that solar cells are more efficient and have the potential to replace commercial solar panels, which generate more pollutants.
According to the physicists, these cells aid in converting solar radiation into electrical energy, and given El Salvador’s exposure to solar radiation, the country could maximize this natural resource. “In Germany or other European countries that have heavily invested in this field, they have implemented it despite having only a few days or months of sun. They are taking advantage of it. Why aren’t we, with almost daily exposure to sunlight, doing the same?” commented Menjívar.
The solar cell is constructed using organic semiconductor materials, which are either non-polluting or significantly less polluting than the materials currently in use, stated Cisneros. The team further explores the benefits of using nanostructures in the production of light-emitting diode (LED) prototypes, which allow for “substantial energy savings.”
“When the Mexican editorial realized that El Salvador is involved in various projects, they urged us to document our work in this book,” expressed Deodanes.
This collaboration between Mexican and Salvadoran researchers showcases the potential for advancements in renewable energies within Latin America. The inclusion of the UES physics students’ chapter serves as a testament to their dedication and innovative contributions to the field. As the world seeks sustainable solutions, it is crucial to recognize and support the efforts of young scientists who are making significant strides in shaping a greener future.