Kristine I. Spangard, Department Coordinator
One of today’s pressing technological challenges is the need for inexpensive carbon-free energy. Electricity generation by solar cells (photovoltaics) is a potential solution. The most common type of solar cell is made from semiconductors, the most common of which is silicon. Currently, there is interest in less expensive approaches to solar cell fabrication, methods without a great sacrifice in conversion efficiency. One such approach uses thin films of strongly absorbing semiconductors deposited on inexpensive substrates such as glass and metal films.
Photovoltaics research at Macalester seeks to optimize alternative methods for producing thin film semiconductors for commercial solar cells. This research draws on materials physics, condensed matter physics, plasma physics, chemistry, and transport theory.
PhD: University of Colorado