Photovoltaics Research at IBM

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Friday, October 19, Giedt Hall 1003, 12:00pm-1:00pm

Speaker: Supratik Guha
IBM Thomas J. Watson Research Center

Host: Professor Bevan Baas


In this talk, I will describe some of the ongoing research in three different areas of photovoltaics at IBM. Concentrator photovoltaics, which has not yet benefitted from the economies of scale that silicon photovoltaics has, can offer significant advantages over flat panels in regions with high direct normal incidence, and also has the potential to be mass manufactured cheaply using readily available materials and components. I will describe some of the work at IBM in building high concentration photovoltaic systems. In the second area, earth abundant thin film PV, I will describe our research on fabricating solar cells using the material copper-zinc-tin-sulfide (CZTS), a compound with readily available, cheap and non toxic components that may turn out to be a viable alternative to CIGS and CdTe without the toxicity and availability issues that are associated with them. This is a less mature material compared to CdTe or CIGS however, and the challenge currently is to demonstrate cells with high efficiencies. I will describe results from vacuum deposited materials that now have achieved efficiencies of 8.4%, and the challenges for this material system. Finally, if time permits, I will describe some of our work on silicon nanowire solar cells, which while demonstrating higher light absorption and even slightly higher efficiencies compared to their planar counterparts, have so far not demonstrated any significant advantage with respect to their potential--I will present data and discuss the reasons behind this.


Supratik Guha received his Ph.D. in Materials Science from the University of Southern California in 1991, and his B. Tech from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur (India) in 1985. He is presently the Director of the Physical Sciences Department at IBM Research, where he has been since 1995. During his time at IBM he has worked on new materials for silicon microelectronics, and was responsible for leading the high dielectric constant (high-k) oxide materials research at IBM that led to IBM's high-k metal gate technology. More recently, he has been responsible for establishing IBM's research programs in the areas of photovoltaics, sensor based physical analytics, and silicon photonics. His research interests are in new semiconductors and oxides for logic, and energy conversion applications. Supratik is also currently an adjunct professor of materials science at Columbia University.

Speaker contact information:

* Please contact Saif Islam , if you would like to meet the speaker on 10/19.

Dr. Supratik Guha
Director, Physical Sciences
Member of the IBM Academy of Technology
Adjunct Professor at Columbia University
IBM Thomas J. Watson Research Center, Yorktown Heights, NY USA

About the seminar:
This seminar is part of the Fall EEC 290 seminar series and is open to all.