Solar Cells


Stanford School of Engineering



Energy—its production, management, and conservation—is one of the hottest topics around the world today. The solar cell is playing, and will continue to play, a key role in managing a global energy crisis by providing a significant portion of the world's electricity.

This course covers everything one needs to know to design all types of solar cells. It provides the most current analysis of the solar industry and an in-depth examination of the theory of conventional p-n junction and excitonic solar cells. Students learn how to use computer simulations to create energy band diagrams for solar cells, to identify the rate and location of recombination, and to predict current-voltage curves. The device simulator PC1D will be used to model solar cells. Several lectures feature speakers form local startup companies and venture capital firms.

Topics include

  • Light trapping, current flow in pn junctions, and recombination
  • Technologies based on highly crystalline forms of silicon and gallium arsenide
  • Multijunction cells with concentrators and low-cost thin-film solar cells
  • Organic semiconductors, hybrid perovskites and nanowires
  • Module design and the economics of the solar industry