Ted Sargent, ECE professor and vice-dean, research for the Faculty, has been appointed to the rank of University Professor by U of T. University Professor is U of T’s highest academic rank, recognizing unusual scholarly achievement and pre-eminence in a particular field of knowledge. The number of such appointments is limited to two per cent of the University’s tenured faculty.
Professor Sargent is the Canada Research Chair in Nanotechology and a world-leading researcher in the area of nanotechnology-enabled solar cells. He was among the first to propose that a new nanomaterial known as colloidal quantum dots (CQD) could be deployed in solar cells to capture the half of the sun’s power that lies in the infrared wavelengths.
Professor Sargent then went on to develop the device theory and design, as well as the manufacturing and experimental characterization, of the colloidal quantum dot solar cell. Since then he has improved the efficiency of colloidal quantum dot solar cells by orders of magnitude; his solar cells are some of the highest-performing CQD solar cells in the world.
Ted Sargent has also built an international reputation for his work on detection of light using solution-processed materials. Image sensors — over a billion of which are in cellphone cameras, digital cameras, and x-ray systems — rely on silicon, which is blind to the infrared colors crucial to gesture recognition, environmental, and security applications. He has developed remarkably sensitive infrared light detectors that can readily be integrated with silicon electronics. He is the founder and CTO of InVisage Technologies, which commercializes this technology. The company has more than 50 patents issued in the US, Japan, Europe, Korea, Taiwan and China.
Ted Sargent’s teaching and training feature the integration of engaging teaching and leading-edge research in the classroom and the laboratory. He is known for his energetic, example-driven teaching style and the extent to which he brings the latest research advances into the classroom. His classes have explored Intel’s next-generation transistors, the exploitation of quantum physics in the most sophisticated lasers used to power the Internet and the transformation of the field of solar energy through innovations in nanomaterials. Recently, Professor Sargent successfully championed the founding of a Nanoengineering Minor within the Faculty.
“Professor Sargent is a passionate and inspirational researcher and a world-leading innovator in nanotechnology,” said Dean Cristina Amon. “On behalf of the entire U of T Engineering community, I am delighted to offer my congratulations on this richly-deserved recognition. We are all extremely proud of Ted’s remarkable accomplishments and his commitment to excellence in everything he does.”
Professor Sargent has received significant recognition for his research achievements. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Canadian Academy of Engineering and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). He has been named one of Canada’s Top 40 Under 40, one of MIT Technology Review’s 100 top young innovators and one of Scientific American’s Top 50. Professor Sargent has received the IEEE Canada Outstanding Engineer Award and the Steacie Prize for Natural Sciences.