Wright Center for Photovoltaics Innovation and Commercialization



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The University of Toledo

Res & Tech Complex 1

2600 Dorr St.

Toledo, OH  43606



Faculty Department Area of Research
Dr. Amar Department of Physics and Astronomy Thin Film Modeling
Dr. Bigioni Department of Chemistry Nanotech. PV
Dr. Collins Department of Physics and Astronomy PV Optics - metrology
Dr. Compaan Department of Physics and Astronomy Thin Film CdTe PV
Dr. Deng Department of Physics and Astronomy Thin Film Si PV
Dr. Ellingson Department of Physics and Astronomy NanoTech. PV
Dr. Giolando Department of Chemistry Optical Coatings
Dr. Heben Department of Physics and Astronomy Thin Film PV NanoTech.
Dr. Jha Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science NanoTech. PV
Dr. King Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Electrical Engineering
Dr. Khare Department of Physics and Astronomy Materials Modeling
Dr. Lipscomb Department of Chemical Engineering Chemical/Environmental Engineering
Dr. Podraza Department of Physics and Astronomy Optics and Thin Film PV
Dr. Yan Department of Physics and Astronomy Thin Film PV



Dr. Amar        
Personal Website
Professor of Physics
  Dr. Amar's group is interested in thin film modeling which mostly concerns with Molecular Beam Epitaxy (MBE). MBE is of great technological and practical interest due to the use of MBE to make semiconductors, quantum wells, solid-state lasers, as well as a variety of other nanostructures such as quantum wires and quantum dots. One of the main advantages of MBE is the ability to control the deposition of thin films and atomic structures on the atomic scale in order to create nanostructures. Recently, it has been discovered that even in the absence of effects such as strain, homoepitaxial growth of thin-films may lead to instability known as 'mound formatoin'. This may be due to diffusion bias which may be due to several effects. His group's main topic is to work on the reason behind mound formations and thin film modeling.

Dr. Bigioni        
Personal Website
Assistant Professor
  Dr. Bigioni's Research group is currently working on: New ways of assembling colloidal nanoparticles into complex structures; How particle interactions affect the structure and physical properties in these unique materials; and if it is possible to synthesize structurally perfect nanocrystals.

Dr. Collins        
Personal Website
NEG Endowed Chair
  Dr. Collins Research Group specializes in the area of Ellipsometry. Instrumentation development in Prof. Collins’s laboratory focuses on multichannel spectroscopic and imaging techniques that can be performed in real time during the fabrication and processing of materials. Research range from achieving a basic understanding of thin film growth and optical properties to improving industrial processes for photovoltaic thin films and other coatings.

Dr. Compaan        
Personal Website
Professor of Physics
  The principal research effort of Dr. Compaan's group is on the deposition of semiconductor thin films for solar cells which is supported by National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). His research emphasizes on techniques for fabrication of large - area, thin film modules for applications of photovoltaic power generation. Most of his group's research effort involves the use of glass substrates which are coated with flourine-doped tin oxide which serves as transparent conductor. Some of his group's research is dedicated for the development of CdS/CdTe cells on flexible substrates such as molybdenum foil and high temeperature polymers.

Dr. Deng        
Personal Website
Professor of Physics
  Dr. Deng's Group research interests are in the areas of silicon photovoltaic materials and devices, thin film depositions and photo-electrochemical production of hydrogen. His group is currently involved in the fabrication of high-efficiency triple-junction a-Si based solar cells; nano crystalline silicon solar cells at high rate; lightweight and flexible a-Si solar cells and modules on plastic substrates; and of photoectrochemical cells and modules for hydrogen generation.

Dr. Ellingson        
Personal Website
Associate Professor of Physics
ellingson   Dr. Ellingson's Research interests are mainly focused on understanding the dynamics and mechanisms of energy loss for electrons, holes and excitons in nanoscale light adsorbers and their assemblies, for application to solar energy conversion. He is also interested in advancing assembly methods to use solution based colloidal semiconductor nanocrystals for thin-film solar cells. His group is currently working on: Ultrafast Laser Spectroscopy of Nano and Molecular Scale Absorbers and assembling colloidal semiconductor nanocrystals for use in highly efficient, inexpensive photovoltaics.

Dr. Giolando        
Personal Website
Professor of Chemistry
Optical Coatings for Photovoltaic Solar cells.

Dr. Heben        
Personal Website
PVIC Endowed Chair
Dr. Heben's current areas of research interest include: (1) low-cost printing, spraying processes for high efficiency PV, (2) novel back contacts for thin, transparent CdTe/CdS PV, (3) high throughout PV device processing and analysis, (4) synthesis, purification, and optoelectronic properties of carbon nanotubes for application in photovoltaics, lithium batteries, ultracapacitors, fuel cell materials, and natural gas purification, (5) electronic and optical studies of hydrogenase single-walled carbon nanotube biohybrids, (6) novel strategies for introducing hard coats for scratch resistance, and (7) organizational improvement in the Wright Center for PVIC.

Dr. Jha        
Personal Website
Assistant Professor
Dr. Jha's group expertise lies in the areas of electrical and optical characterization of nanoelectronic devices, and fabrication of advanced electronic, optoelectronic, photovoltaic and sensing devices incorporating nanodot, nanofiber, nanotube and thin films. Her group is fully equipped to perform a wide range of electrical and optical characterization in the temperature range of 4.2K to 475K both in dark as well as illuminated conditions.

Dr. King        
Personal Website
  Dr. King's research interests are in the fields of Power Electronics and Switching Power Converters, Modeling and Control.

Dr. Khare        
Personal Website
Assistant Professor
  Dr. Khare's research group is focussed on applying theoretical techniques to explain and predict interfacial and materials phenomenon of direct and experimental relevance. A strong connection with experimental measurements such as scanning tunneling microscopy (STM), scanning tunneling spectroscopy (STS), low energy electron microscopy (LEEM), and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) is made. A wide range of theoretical and computational techniques are employed including analytical solutions to stochastic differential equations with noise, equations of elasticity, numerical solutions to algebraic equations, Monte Carlo simulations, molecular dynamics, and ab initio density functional theory calculations.


Dr. Lipscomb        
Personal Website
Professor and Chair
419-530-8088 (phone)
419-530-8086 (fax)
Lipscomb   Dr. Lipscomb serves as the Chair of the Department of Chemical Engineering, and has research interests involving all aspects of membrane separation processes from material synthesis to membrane formation to module and process design.


Dr. Podraza        
Personal Website
Assistant Professor

Prof. Podraza's research group is interested in film growth mechanisms and structure including studies of nucleation and growth as well as phase changes in materials; impact of phonon vibrational modes and the electronic band structures on material optical properties; electromagnetic and optical physical properties and their manipulation by structure; and device physics including photovoltaics and bolometric materials. Specific areas of interest include: use of spectroscopic ellipsometry to characterize the optical properties of solids; in situ real time spectroscopic ellipsometry to study the growth evolution of amorphous, nano-, and polycrystalline thin films; hydrogenated silicon based photovoltaic devices; hydrogenated silicon and vanadium oxide based infrared sensing microbolometers; optical properties of complex materials; and sculptured thin films.


Dr. Yan        
Personal Website
ORSP Endowed Chair
Dr. Yan’s Research Group is interested in understanding defect physics in inorganic solar cell materials using the combination of density-functional theory, materials synthesis, and electron microscopy characterization. His group is currently involved in exploring the viability of earth-abundant thin-film solar cells. Prof. Yan’s group is also interested in materials discovery and engineering for H2 production through solar water splitting.
Last Updated: 3/23/15