Professor Leite has a diverse background that spans physics, optics, materials science, and chemistry. She has had prior appointments at Caltech, the Brazilian Synchrotron Light Source, Eindhoven University of Technology, and the Max-Planck Institute. Her research concerns novel materials and devices for photovoltaic applications, including energy storage, renewable energy systems, physics of semiconductors, nanoscale resolution measurements, nanostructured 3D materials, thermodynamics at the nanoscale, nanofabrication technologies, epitaxy, quantum dots, and metamaterials.
Professor Leite received a B.S. in chemistry from Universidade Federal de Pernambuco, Brazil and a Ph.D. degree in physics from Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP), Brazil in 2008. After receiving her Ph.D., Prof. Leite was a postdoctoral scholar in Harry Atwater’s group at the California Institute of Technology, where she engineered multijunction solar cells. She was also a CNST/UMD postdoctoral research scientist at the National Institute of Standards and Technology working with Nikolai Zhitenev developing measurements of local electronic and optical properties with nanoscale and atomic scale resolution to characterize inorganic photovoltaic materials.
Professor Leite is the recipient of the Maryland Academy of Sciences Award (2014) and the Ovshinsky Sustainable Energy Fellowship from the Americal Physical Society (2017).