Dr. Troy K. Townsend
Assistant Professor of Chemistry

Photo of Dr. Troy K. Townsend

Departments: Chemistry and Biochemistry
Office: Goodpaster Hall 156
Email: tktownsend@smcm.edu
Phone: (240) 895-3202


Post-Doc. U.S. Naval Research Laboratory, 2014
Ph.D. University of California, Davis, 2012
B.A. St. Mary's College of Maryland, 2007

Courses Taught:

  • Contemporary Chemistry
  • General Chemistry Lab
  • Chemistry Emerging Scholar

Research/Professional Interests

Dr. Townsend’s research interests branch from the central theme of renewable energy generation with an emphasis on solar power conversion. Given our current rising global demand 
for power, a sustainable route to growth is needed considering that > 85% of US energy is supplied by fossil fuels. With the installation of solar cells in small areas across the globe, we 
could feasibly achieve 600TW and exceed our predicted global demand. Given this and our economy’s compatibility with chemical fuels, one of Dr. Townsend’s research areas investigate 
the chemical and electronic interactions of semiconductors with water in the presence of light to produce hydrogen gas. Semiconductor nanocrystals have high surface areas and absorb visible 
light which can promote photo-catalytic water splitting. The synthesis of these nanocrystals and understanding their efficacy for photo-electrochemical reactions is the next step towards 
developing sustainable power solutions.
Dr. Townsend’s research group is also interested in cheap and simple routes to producing spray-on solar cells and solution processed electronics. Currently, solar power is limited by the 
prohibitively high cost of fabrication and installation of panels. By reducing these costs, solar cells become increasingly affordable as a promising alternative source of power. Spray-on solar 
cells have recently gained interest also because of their inherent freedom of deposition onto large and irregular surfaces. Inorganic and organic semiconducting materials can be deposited from 
solution and sandwiched with spray-on metal contacts to produce working photovoltaic devices which can find new applications where current technologies are limited.

Selected Publications

(12-13) In Press. ACS Nano and Energy and Environmental Science
(11) The Impact of Nanocrystal Spray Deposition on Inorganic Solar Cells. Troy K. Townsend, Woojun Yoon, Joe Tischler, Ed Foos, Accepted to ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces, 2014.
(10) Sintered CdTe Nanocrystal Thin-films: Determination of Optical Constants and Application in Novel Inverted Heterojunction Solar Cells. Woojun Yoon, Troy K. Townsend, Matthew P. Lumb, Joseph G. Tischler, and Edward E. Foos, Accepted to IEEE Nanotechnology, 2014.
(9) Inorganic Photovoltaic Devices Fabricated Using Nanocrystal Spray Deposition. Ed Foos, Woojun Yoon, Joe Tischler, and Troy K. Townsend, ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces, 2013, 18, 8828–8832.
(8) Overall Photocatalytic Water Splitting with NiOx-SrTiO3 – A Revised Mechanism. Troy K. Townsend, Nigel D. Browning, and Frank E. Osterloh, Energy and Environmental Science, 2012, 5, 9543-9550.
(7) Nanoscale Strontium Titanate Photocatalysts for Overall Water Splitting. Troy K. Townsend, Nigel D. Browning, and Frank E. Osterloh, ACS Nano, 2012, 6, 7420-7426.
(6) Single-Crystal Tungsten Oxide Nanosheets: Photochemical Water Oxidation in the Quantum Confinement Regime. Mollie Waller, Troy K. Townsend, Jing Zhao, Erwin M. Sabio, Rachel Chamousis, Nigel D. Browning, and Frank E. Osterloh, Chemistry of Materials, 2012, 24, 698-704.
(5) Quantum Confinement Controlled Photocatalytic Water Splitting by Suspended CdSe Nanocrystals. Michael A. Homes, Troy K. Townsend, and Frank E. Osterloh, Chemical Communications, 2011, 48, 371-373.
(4) Photocatalytic Water Oxidation with Suspended alpha-Fe2O3 Particles-Effects of Nanoscaling. Troy K. Townsend, Erwin M. Sabio, Nigel D. Browning and Frank E. Osterloh, Energy and 
Environmental Science, 2011, 4, 4270-4275.
(3) Photocatalytic Water Oxidation with Nonsensitized IrO2 Nanocrystals under Visible and UV Light. F. Andrew Frame, Troy K. Townsend, Rachel L. Chamousis, Erwin M. Sabio, Th. Dittrich, Nigel D. Browning, and Frank E. Osterloh, Journal of the American Chemical Society, 2011, 133, 7264–7267.
(2) Improved Niobate Nanoscroll Photocatalysts for Partial Water Splitting. Troy K. Townsend, Erwin M. Sabio, Nigel D. Browning, and Frank E. Osterloh, ChemSusChem, 2011, 4, 185-190.
(1) Assembly of Core-Shell Structures for Photocatalytic Hydrogen Evolution from Aqueous Methanol. Han Zhou, Erwin M. Sabio, Troy K. Townsend, Tongxiang Fan, Di Zhang, Frank E. Osterloh, Chemistry of Materials, 2010, 22, 3362-3368.

(2) Top to Bottom Solution Deposition of Inorganic Solar Modules. Troy Townsend and Edward Foos. Navy Case No. 102,634. 
(1) Spray Deposition Method for Inorganic Nanocrystal Solar Cells. Edward Foos, Woojun Yoon, Troy Townsend, and Joseph Tischler, Navy Case No. 101,963-US3.

(1) Inorganic Metal Oxide Nanocrystal Photocatalysts for Solar Fuel Generation from Water. 
Troy K. Townsend, Springer Thesis, 2014, XVI, 71p. 44 illus. in color.