May 20, 2013 - Professor Ashutosh Tiwari's group has been awarded a new patent by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (US Patent#8,431,928; April 30, 2013). This patent is for the invention of a novel intrinsic gallium arsenide based device possessing PIN structures. Mak Karmarkar (MSE Ph.D. candidate) and Dr. Nathan Gray (Ph.D. '11), earlier graduate students of Dr. Tiwari, are the co-inventors in this patent.
Amorphous silicon-based PIN junction solar cells have several advantages over bulk silicon solar cells and thin film silicon-based single-junction solar cells. However, such PIN junction solar cells suffer from light-induced degradation (LID) of the intrinsic amorphous silicon layer, which reduces the efficiency of the solar cells and limits their lifespan. Dr. Tiwari's group's discovery solves the problem of LID and paves way for the development of high-efficiency & longer life solar cells.