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Denmark Research, Solar Cell Proof of Concept & Billie

Hello! If this is your first time here, I'm a seventeen-year-old with the goal of making a positive impact in the sustainability sector. I'm currently working on flexible solar cells leveraging nanomaterials, as well as a bioplastic from duckweed. The past two months I worked on my bioplastic in Denmark, did solar cell research in Toronto, and hosted Light & Hope sessions. Let's get into July and August :)

Copenhagen Lab Work

Finishing Work @Novozymes

At the end of June I flew to Copenhagen and began working with Novozymes, and spent an additional week in July working in their labs. We found a way to supply the necessary nutrients to our bacteria and produced high concentrations of lactic acid. Working in this lab was so much fun overall, and I am very grateful to Ulla Rosenberg, Kim Borch, and Robin Dorau for all their help!

Finans Feature

I had the opportunity to be featured in Finans Magazine, a Danish publication!


At the Technical University of Denmark I worked on what to do with the lactic acid once it has been produced - in other words, separating it from the fermentation medium. This turned out to be immensely complex and I very much struggled with failure at this lab, but will take my learnings into future steps with the project.

University of Copenhagen

Finally I worked at the University of Copenhagen with biotechnology professor, Peter Ulvskov. Truly he thought about innovation through a completely different lens and I learned an enormous amount about duckweed's cell walls. We experimented with various parameters to optimize the fermentation. Below, you can see the before and after degradation photos of the duckweed cell walls (where the blue shows the starch grains, and the starch is released in the second photo)!


All in all, I am truly grateful to have had this experience. It was also wonderful meeting Martin from Pond in person and getting to work with him in the lab for the first time! I am excited to continue my research at Carleton this school year with new learnings and optimized procedures on a larger scale.

Article on Takeaways :)

Solar Cell Research

Building a Proof of Concept!!

After 2.5 years of research and trial and error in the lab I built a working prototype of my flexible plastic-free solar cell (which just happened on September 1st)! The ultra-thin (and light) cells are made of five layers and generated a photoactive current using a solar simulator. I am so excited to further optimize this design!

Some layers I focused on!

The hole transport layer required experimenting with varying deposition methods.

I built the active layer to fit into my organic solar cell (traditionally made on plastic).

The electron transport layer, made of oxidized nanoparticles, allowed low-temp annealing.

Other Parts of Summer

Biophilia Documentary

Last summer I had the opportunity to be in a documentary about biophilic design called "The Nature of Design", and this year am being featured in their documentary series which I did an interview for recently.

Light & Hope Sessions

I also had the chance to run two Light & Hope sessions. The first was a session on technological innovation, and the second was on self confidence. 

Curiosity Podcast

Kristina and I released an episode with David Rouse, the CEO of CarbonClick. We discuss Dave's founder story, why he switched from medicine to engineering, and how Carbon Click calculates the amount a purchase impacts one's Carbon Footprint. We also go over developing meaningful partnerships and Dave's mentorship work with Climate-X.

Bi-Monthly Tid Bits


My favourite recent book was "The Girl With Seven Names".

North Carolina

Visited North Carolina to drop my sister off to UNC.


Went to Osheaga with my friends and saw Billie Eilish!

Up Next:

In September and October I'll be starting grade twelve! I'll also be working on my bioplastic and solar cell research, running Light & Hope sessions, and giving a keynote talk for LCOY Canada. See you then :)

Naila Moloo


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