Christians Research Lab

The Christians research lab seeks to design and improve materials for sustainable-energy applications, especially as photovoltaic (solar cell) absorbers.

If you’re a Hope College student in engineering, chemistry, or physics, reach out and learn how you can join the group!

Email me at christians@hope.edu and ask about how you can get involved in research.

Photo credit: Steven Herppich Hope College

Materials for Energy

Nobel Laureate (and former Hope student!) Richard Smalley identified energy as Humanity’s biggest challenge over the next 50 years. With links to climate change, poverty, war, the environment, water, and other areas, I agree. Our research seeks to use skills and techniques from engineering, chemistry, and physics to help design and understand the materials which will help us to meet this challenge . – Prof. Jeff Christians

Dr. Jeffrey Christians

Jeff and his wife Allie have two boys and a girl, Graham (8), Elliott (5), and Clara (2). They love spending time by water – Lake Michigan, or any little inland lake! – and any chance they can get to spend time with grandparents and cousins. You may find them playing basketball in the driveway (Allie is probably winning), going for a family bike (Clara might be zooming by on her scooter), playing Lego (Graham is the one with the coolest creation), or enjoying nature (ask Elliott about some dino facts).

Jeff joined the Hope College faculty in 2018 following work as a postdoctoral researcher at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and his PhD work at the University of Notre Dame. He primarily teaches chemical engineering courses and has a diverse educational background in chemical engineering and chemistry. In his research, he works on the development of the semiconductor materials which are the working component of solar cells to make solar cells more broadly accessible. These solar cell materials, and even complete solar cells, can be made through the use of simple printing and coating methods, like those used for making photographic film or printing newspaper, from “inks” which could allow for dramatically cheaper production. Jeff also works on non-traditional applications of solar cells, such as color-switching solar cells which could be integrated into building facades.