Solar Cells


Stanford School of Engineering



Photovoltaic cells (also known as solar cells) are used to generate electricity in residential, commercial, utility and off-grid sectors. The latest advances in photovoltaic technology provide a fascinating discovery of how solar cells work.

This course compares silicon, cadmium telluride, copper indium gallium selenide, gallium arsenide, organic, dye-sensitized and multifunction solar cells.

What you will learn

  • Cost effectiveness of different types of solar cells
  • Different materials and methods used to manufacture solar cells
  • Energy principles in physics, photochemistry and electrochemistry
  • Fundamentals of photovoltaic energy

This course is approximately 2.5 hours of video content with 1 hour of coursework.

Topics include

  • What solar cells can do and where they need to be to compete economically
  • The science of solar
  • Silicon solar cells
  • Conventional thin-film solar cells
  • Third generation (multijunctional) solar cells
  • The resurgence of gallium arsenide
  • Organic solar cells
  • Comparison of the technologies and forecast for the future
  • Opportunities for you

Continuing Education Units

By completing this course, you’ll earn 0.5 Continuing Education Unit (CEU). CEUs cannot be applied toward any Stanford degree. CEU transferability is subject to the receiving institution’s policies.


  • $295 per online course


Please contact 650-204-3984 or submit an inquiry to ask a question or to receive more information.

Enroll Now

Instructors: Michael McGehee
Delivery Option:
Online Course $295.00

Course Access
60 day access to the online course starts upon payment. 

Course Materials
Course materials are available for download from the online videos page. All materials are available for printing and review upon enrollment.

Final Exam
Online participants are asked to complete a final exam at the end of each course to maintain the integrity of the program. A score of 85% must be achieved to successfully pass the exam. A digital record of completion will be emailed to participants when they pass the exam.

Course Evaluation
It is required that participants complete the course evaluation once they have passed the final exam.

This course may not currently be available to learners in some states and territories.