Joint MSE/UMERC Seminar: Dave Carlson
Friday, April 2, 2010
Room 2108 Chemical and Nuclear Engineering Bldg.
Advances in Research in the Photovoltaics Industry and at BP Solar
Presented by Dave Carlson
Chief Scientist, BP Solar
The photovoltaics (PV) industry has been one of the fastest growing industries in the world over the last decade with a compound annual growth rate of more than 40%, and there are currently more than 300 companies pursuing a variety of different PV technologies. While crystalline silicon technology currently dominates the PV industry, a large number of companies are developing solar cells based on other materials such as cadmium telluride, amorphous silicon and copper-indium-gallium diselenide (CIGS) as well as other materials. Research at BP Solar has been focused on producing high performance crystalline silicon solar cells at low cost and involves coordinated efforts in silicon crystal growth, new ways of processing crystalline silicon solar cells, improvements in PV module technology and the development of new PV systems and applications. In addition, BP Solar supports research at a number of universities in areas such as organic solar cells, nanostructured PV devices and advanced silicon solar cells.
About the Speaker
Dr. Carlson received the B.S. degree in Physics from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 1963 and the Ph.D. in Physics from Rutgers University in 1968. He worked as a Research and Development Physicist at the U.S. Army Nuclear Effects Laboratory, Edgewood Arsenal, Maryland in 1968 and 1969. He served as a U.S. Army Captain in charge of 110 men at a communications site in Pleiku, Vietnam in 1969 and 1970.
In 1970, Dr. Carlson joined RCA Laboratories in Princeton, New Jersey as a Member of the Technical Staff and worked in the areas of ion motion in glasses, glow-discharge deposition of thin films and thin-film photovoltaic devices. Dr. Carlson received an RCA Laboratories Outstanding Achievement Award in 1973 for his work on the ion depletion of glasses and one in 1976 for the development of amorphous silicon devices.
Dr. Carlson invented the amorphous silicon solar cell at RCA Labs in 1974 and was the first to demonstrate that hydrogenated amorphous silicon could be doped either p- or n-type and could be used to form a semiconductor junction. He received the top technical award of the American Ceramic Society (the Ross Coffin Purdy Award) "in recognition of his outstanding contributions to ceramic literature in the year 1974". In 1977, Dr. Carlson was appointed Group Head, Photovoltaic Device Research, at RCA Laboratories. In 1983, he joined Solarex Corporation (merged into BP Solar in 1999) as the Director of Research and Deputy General Manager of the Solarex Thin Film Division. He became the General Manager of the Solarex Thin Film Division in 1987 and was promoted to Vice President in 1988. In 1994, he became Vice President and Chief Technologist of Solarex. In 1999, he became the Chief Scientist of BP Solar and the Manager of Future Technology Programs. He also manages the Intellectual Property System for BP Solar.
Dr. Carlson was a co-recipient of the 1984 Morris N. Liebmann Award (IEEE) "for crucial contributions to the use of amorphous silicon in low-cost, high performance photovoltaic solar cells". In 1986, Dr. Carlson was awarded the Walton Clark Medal by the Franklin Institute for "his innovations in the use of hydrogenated amorphous silicon for solar energy conversion, his leadership in the development of its technology and the major impact of his contributions". He received the William R. Cherry Award at the 20th IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference in 1988 for "outstanding contributions to the advancement of photovoltaic science and technology". He received the Karl W. Boer Medal from the International Solar Energy Society and the University of Delaware in 1995 for his outstanding contributions to the field of solar energy.
Dr. Carlson is a fellow of the IEEE and a member of the American Physical Society, the American Vacuum Society, and Sigma Xi. He has published more than 150 technical papers and has been issued 26 U.S. patents. He's listed in Who's Who in America.