Photovoltaic (PV) materials and devices directly convert sunlight into electricity. PV systems have become widely available in our daily life, providing power to small consumer electronic devices, such as calculators and wristwatches, to road and traffic signs, to an increasing number of houses and workplaces, and to communication satellites or the International Space Station (ISS). With the increasing demand for renewable energy sources, research into photovoltaic materials and devices has rapidly increased in past years.
At Georgia Tech, faculty members from across the College of Engineering and the College of Sciences use IEN’s shared-user facilities to explore new photovoltaic materials and optimize fabrication technologies to improve the efficiency and lower the manufacturing cost of PV cells and systems. Research activities range from modeling and fabrication of mono- and multi-crystalline silicon solar cells to emerging PV technologies, such as the development of organic PV cells.
Georgia Tech is home of the University Center of Excellence for Photovoltaics (UCEP) and the Center for Organic Photonics and Electronics (COPE). The Georgia Tech spin-off company SUNIVA manufactures PV cells and modules based on technology developed at UCEP.