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Nicholas Rolston


Nick Rolston is an Assistant Professor in the School of Electrical, Computer, and Energy Engineering at Arizona State University and a Graduate Faculty in Materials Science. He received his B.S. in Physics and Mathematics from the University of Iowa and his Ph.D. in Applied Physics from Stanford University for his work on the characterization, design, and fabrication of rapid open-air processed thin-film perovskite photovoltaic devices, after which he spent a year as a postdoctoral researcher in Materials Science and Engineering. His research group at ASU focuses on understanding fundamental mechanical and material properties in thin-film energy devices on length scales from angstroms to meters and developing scalable, open-air deposition methods to produce robust, low-cost solutions toward the goal of manufacturing the next generation of renewable energy technology.

  • Ph.D. Applied Physics, Stanford University 2020
  • B.S. Physics and Mathematics, University of Iowa 2014
Research Interests: 

Nick's research interests span the areas of renewable energy, materials science, thin-film mechanics, and solid-state physics. Specific areas involve open-air processing of low-cost materials and devices, in-situ reliability characterization, scalable device manufacturing, and optimization/modeling of energy devices and systems using artificial intelligence and machine learning tools. Some applications of interest are thin-film perovskites for photovoltics, semiconductors for flexible electronics, and lithium-based batteries for energy storage.


First Author Publications (*Denotes equal contribution)

15. Z. Liu*, N. Rolston*, A.C. Flick, T. Colburn, Z. Ren, R.H. Dauskardt, & T. Buonassisi, “Accelerated optimization to high-performing perovskite solar cells in open-air with machine learning” in preparation

14. A. Giuri*, N. Rolston*, S. Colella, A. Listorti, C.E. Corcione, H. Elmaraghi, S. Lauciello, R. Brescia, R.H Dauskardt, & A. Rizzo, “Robust, high-performing maize-perovskite nanocomposite based solar cells with improved stability” in review

13. N. Rolston, A. Sleugh, J. Chen, O. Zhao, Z. Pan, A.C. Flick, & R.H. Dauskardt, “Perspectives of open-air processing to enable perovskite solar cell manufacturing”, Frontiers in Energy Research, 2021, DOI: 10.3389/fenrg.2021.684082

12. N. Rolston*, W.J. Scheideler*, A. Flick, J.P. Chen, H. Elmaraghi, A. Sleugh, O. Zhao, M. Woodhouse & R.H. Dauskardt, “Rapid open-air fabrication of perovskite solar modules”, Joule, 2020, DOI: 10.1016/j.joule.2020.11.001

11. N. Rolston*, R. Bennett-Kennett*, L. Schelhas, J.J. Berry, & R.H. Dauskardt, “Comment on “Light-induced lattice expansion leads to high-efficiency perovskite solar cells””, Science, 2020, DOI: 10.1126/science.aay8691

10. M. Gutwald*, N. Rolston*, A.D. Printz, O. Zhao, H. Elmaraghi, Y. Ding, J. Zhang, & R.H. Dauskardt, “Perspectives of intrinsic toughening strategies and passivation of perovskite films with organic additives”, Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells, 2020, DOI: 10.1016/j.solmat.2020.110433

9. I. Lee*, N. Rolston*, P.L. Brunner, & R.H. Dauskardt, “Hole transport layer molecular weight and doping effects on perovskite solar cell efficiency and mechanical behavior”, ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces, 2019, DOI: 10.1021/acsami.9b05567

8. N. Rolston*, K.A. Bush*, A.D. Printz, A. Gold‐Parker, Y. Ding, M.F. Toney, M.D. McGehee, & R.H. Dauskardt, “Engineering stress in perovskite solar cells to improve stability”, Advanced Energy Materials, 2018, DOI: 10.1002/aenm.201802139

7. K.A. Bush*, N. Rolston*, A. Gold-Parker, S. Manzoor, J. Hausele, Z.J. Yu, J.A. Raiford, R. Cheacharoen, Z.C. Holman, M.F. Toney, R.H. Dauskardt, & M.D. McGehee, “Controlling thin-film stress and wrinkling during perovskite film formation”, ACS Energy Letters, 2018, DOI: 10.1021/acsenergylett.8b00544

6. N. Rolston, A.D. Printz, J.M. Tracy, H. Weerasinghe, D. Vak, L.J. Haur, A. Priyadarshi, N. Mathews, D.J. Slotcavage, M.D. McGehee, R.E. Kalan, R.L. Grimm, H. Tsai, W. Nie, A.D. Mohite, S. Gholipour, M. Saliba, M. Graetzel, & R.H. Dauskardt, “Effect of cation composition on the mechanical stability of perovskite solar cells”, Advanced Energy Materials, 2018, DOI: 10.1002/aenm.201702116

5. B.L. Watson*, N. Rolston*, A.D. Printz*, & R.H. Dauskardt, “Scaffold-reinforced perovskite compound solar cells”, Energy and Environmental Science, 2017, DOI: 10.1039/C7EE02185B

4. N. Rolston, A.D. Printz, F. Hilt, M.Q. Hovish, K. Bruening, C.J. Tassone, & R.H. Dauskardt, “Improved stability and efficiency of perovskite solar cells with submicron flexible barrier films deposited in air”, Journal of Materials Chemistry A, 2017, 10.1039/C7TA09178H

3. B.L. Watson*, N. Rolston*, L. Taleghani, K.A. Bush, & R.H. Dauskardt, “Synthesis and use of a hyper-connecting cross-linking agent in the hole-transporting layer of perovskite solar cells”, Journal of Materials Chemistry A, 2017, DOI: 10.1039/C7TA05004F

2. N. Rolston, A.D. Printz, S.R. Dupont, E. Voroshazi, & R.H. Dauskardt, “Effect of environmental stressors on decohesion kinetics of organic solar cells”, Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells, 2017, DOI: 10.1016/j.solmat.2017.06.002

1. N. Rolston, B.L. Watson, C.D. Bailie, M.D. McGehee, J.P. Bastos, R. Gehlhaar, J.E. Kim, D. Vak, A.T. Mallajosyula, G. Gupta, A.D. Mohite, & R.H. Dauskardt, “Mechanical integrity of solution-processed perovskite solar cells”, Extreme Mechanics Letters, 2016, DOI: 10.1016/j.eml.2016.06.006


Contributing Author Publications

24. A. Flick, N. Rolston, & R.H. Dauskardt, “TCO-Based Single Source Laser Scribes for Efficient Perovskite Solar Modules”, in preparation

23. J. Zhang, Y. Ding, G. Jiang, A. Flick, Z. Pan, W.J. Scheideler, O. Zhao, J.P. Chen, N. Rolston, & R.H. Dauskardt, “Low-temperature sprayed SnOx nanocomposite films with enhanced hole blocking for efficient large area perovskite solar cells”, in review

22. O. Zhao, Y. Ding, D. Cheng, J. Zhang, F. Hilt, N. Rolston, G. Jiang, & R.H. Dauskardt, “Low temperature open-air plasma deposition of amorphous tin oxide for perovskite solar cells”, Thin Solid Films, 2021, DOI: 10.1016/j.tsf.2021.138708

21. J. Chen, F. Hilt, N. Rolston, & R.H. Dauskardt, “Scalable open-air deposition of compact ETL TiOx on perovskite for fullerene-free solar cells”, Journal of Materials Chemistry A, 2020, DOI: 10.1039/D0TA08554E

20. O. Zhao, Y. Ding, Z. Pan, N. Rolston, J. Zhang, & R.H. Dauskardt, “Open-air plasma deposited multilayer thin-film moisture barriers”, ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces, 2020, DOI: 10.1021/acsami.0c01493

19. A.D. Printz, O. Zhao, S.S. Hamann, N. Rolston, O. Solgaard, & R.H. Dauskardt, “Self-aligned concentrating immersion-lens arrays for patterning and efficiency recovery in scaffold-reinforced perovskite solar cells”, Applied Materials Today, 2020, DOI: 10.1016/j.apmt.2020.100704

18. L. Bertoluzzi, C.C. Boyd, N. Rolston, J. Xu, B.C. O’Regan, & M.D. McGehee, “Mobile ion concentration measurement and open-access band diagram simulation platform for halide perovskite solar cells”, Joule, 2020, DOI: 10.1016/j.joule2019.10.003

17. M.Q. Hovish, N. Rolston, K. Bruening, F. Hilt, C. Tassone, & R.H. Dauskardt, “Crystallization kinetics of rapid spray plasma processed multiple cation perovskites in open air”, Journal of Materials Chemistry A, 2019, DOI: 10.1039/C9TA07980G

16. Y. Li*, W. Zhou*, Y. Li*, W. Huang, Z. Zhang, G. Chen, H. Wang, G.H. Wu, N. Rolston, R. Vila, W. Chiu, & Y. Cui, “Unravelling atomic structure and degradation mechanism of electron beam-sensitive hybrid organic-inorganic halide perovskite by cryogenic electron microscopy”, Joule, 2019, DOI: 10.1016/j.joule.2019.08.016

15. W.J. Scheideler, N. Rolston, O. Zhao, J. Zhang, & R.H. Dauskardt, “Rapid aqueous spray fabrication of robust NiO: A simple and scalable platform for efficient perovskite solar cells”, Advanced Energy Materials, 2019, DOI: 10.1002/aenm.201803600

14. M.Q. Hovish, N. Rolston, F. Hilt, Q. Xiao, & R.H. Dauskardt, “Open air plasma deposition of superhydrophilic titania coatings”, Advanced Functional Materials, 2019, DOI: 10.1002/adfm.201806421

13. S.I. Na, Y.H. Seo, Y.C. Nah, S.S. Kim, H. Heo, J.E. Kim, N. Rolston, R.H. Dauskardt, M. Gao, Y. Lee, & D. Vak, “High performance roll-to-roll produced fullerene-free organic photovoltaic devices via temperature-controlled slot die coating”, Advanced Functional Materials, 2019, DOI: 10.1002/adfm.201805825

12. D. Angmo, X. Peng, J. Cheng, M. Gao, N. Rolston, K. Sears, C. Zuo, J. Subbiah, S.S. Kim, H.C. Weerasinghe, R.H. Dauskardt, & D. Vak, “Beyond fullerenes: Indacenodithiophene-based organic charge transport layer towards upscaling of low-cost perovskite solar cells”, ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces, 2018, DOI: 10.1021/acsami.8b04861

11. L. Zhao, N. Rolston, K.M. Lee, X. Zhao, M.A. Reyes‐Martinez, N.L. Tran, Y.W. Yeh, N. Yao, G.D. Scholes, Y.L. Loo, A. Selloni, R.H. Dauskardt, & B.P. Rand, “Influence of bulky organo-ammonium halide additive choice on the flexibility and efficiency of perovskite light-emitting devices”, Advanced Functional Materials, 2018, DOI: 10.1002/adfm.201802060

10. S.G. Prolongo, A.D. Printz, N. Rolston, B.L. Watson, & R.H. Dauskardt, “Poly (triarylamine) composites with carbon nanomaterials for highly transparent and conductive coatings”, Thin Solid Films, 2018, DOI: 10.1016/j.tsf.2017.11.025

9. F. Hilt, M.Q. Hovish, N. Rolston, & R.H. Dauskardt, “Rapid route to efficient, scalable, and robust perovskite photovoltaics in air”, Energy and Environmental Science, 2018, DOI: 10.1039/C8EE01065J

8. R. Cheacharoen, N. Rolston, D. Harwood, K.A. Bush, R.H. Dauskardt, & M.D. McGehee, “Design and understanding of encapsulated perovskite solar cells to withstand thermal cycling”, Energy and Environmental Science, 2018, DOI: 10.1039/C7EE02564E

7. K.A. Bush*, A.F. Palmstrom*, Z.J. Yu*, M. Boccard, R. Cheacharoean, J.P. Mailoa, D.P. McMeekin, R.L.Z. Hoye, C.D. Bailie, T. Leijtens, I.M. Peters, M.C. Minichetti, N. Rolston, R. Prasanna, S. Sofia, D. Harwood, W. Ma, F. Moghadam, H.J. Snaith, T. Buonassisi, Z.C. Holman, S.F. Bent, & M.D. McGehee, “23.6%-efficient monolithic perovskite/silicon tandem solar cells with improved stability”, Nature Energy, 2017, DOI: 10.1038/nenergy.2017.9

6. J.H. Kim, I. Lee, T.S. Kim, N. Rolston, B.L. Watson, & Reinhold H. Dauskardt, “Understanding mechanical behavior and reliability of organic electronic materials”, MRS Bulletin, 2017, DOI: 10.1557/mrs.2017.3

5. W. Greenbank, N. Rolston, E. Destouesse, G. Wantz, L. Hirsch, R.H. Dauskardt, & S. Chambon, “Improved mechanical adhesion and electronic stability of organic solar cells with thermal ageing: the role of diffusion at the hole extraction interface”, Journal of Materials Chemistry A, 2017, DOI: 10.1039/C6TA09665D

4. B.L. Watson, N. Rolston, K.A. Bush, T. Leijtens, M.D. McGehee, & R.H. Dauskardt, “Cross-linkable, solvent-resistant fullerene contacts for robust and efficient perovskite solar cells with increased JSC and VOC”, ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces, 2016, DOI: 10.1021/acsami.6b06164

3. M. Corazza, N. Rolston, R.H. Dauskardt, S.A. Gevorgyan, & F.C. Krebs, “Role of stress factors on the adhesion of interfaces in R2R fabricated organic photovoltaics”, Advanced Energy Materials, 2016, DOI: 10.1002/aenm.201501927

2. H.C. Weerasinghe, N. Rolston, D. Vak, A. Scully, & R.H. Dauskardt, “A stability study of printed organic photovoltaic modules containing a polymeric electron-selective layer”, Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells, 2016, DOI: 10.1016/j.solmat.2016.03.034

1. V. Balcaen, N. Rolston, S.R. Dupont, E. Voroshazi, & R.H. Dauskardt, “Thermal cycling effect on mechanical integrity of inverted polymer solar cells”, Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells, 2015, DOI: 10.1016/j.solmat.2015.07.019

Honors / Awards: 
  • Materials Research Society Graduate Student Gold Award (2020)
  • Future Faculty Development Program Award at Virginia Tech (2019)
  • Materials Research Society Graduate Student Silver Award (2019)  
  • Gerald J. Lieberman Fellowship (2019-2020)
  • National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship (2015-2018)
  • Ford Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship (2015-2019)
  • National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate Fellowship (declined, 2015)
  • Stanford EDGE-STEM Fellowship (2015-2017)
  • Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship (2012-2013)
  • Phi Beta Kappa, Alpha Chapter of Iowa (2012)
  • James A. Van Allen Award (2012)
  • Presidential Scholarship (2010-2014)
Work History: 
  • Arizona State University (Assistant Professor, 2022–present)
  • Stanford University (Postdoctoral Researcher, 2021; Graduate Researcher, 2014–2020)
  • University of Iowa (Undergraduate Researcher, 2011–2014)
  • Cornell University (Undergraduate Summer Intern, 2013)
  • Technion Institute of Technology (Undergraduate Summer Intern, 2012)