FREE subscription
Subscribe for free to receive each issue of Semiconductor Today magazine and weekly news brief.




26 August 2009


Magnolia Solar appoints Kopin technology director Welser as CTO

Magnolia Solar Inc of Woburn, MA, USA, which is developing nano-based solar cell technologies for terrestrial applications, has appointed Dr Roger E. Welser as its chief technology officer. He will be responsible for leading the development of next-generation solar cells employing nanostructured materials to cover the UV, visible and infrared parts of the spectrum, targeted at increasing the efficiency and lowering the cost of thin-film photovoltaics.

Magnolia says that, over the next decade and beyond, the use of photovoltaics for energy production is expected to grow from less than 1% currently to more than 10%. The emphasis for next-generation solar cell technology is to develop nano-based processes that can be grown on low-cost materials such as glass or polymers, and to bring the cost of solar electricity energy generation to less than $1 per watt.

Most recently, Welser was director of technology & new product development in III-V materials at Woburn-based epiwafer foundry Kopin Corp. His R&D group at Kopin focused on bandgap engineering of material structures to improve the performance and cost of GaAs-based transistor devices. But Welser was also actively involved in the field of photovoltaics. In July 2008, Magnolia said that it was collaborating with him on developing indium nitride (InN)-based quantum dot solar cells for both the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and defense applications. Magnolia and Kopin have also collaborated previously on programs using gallium nitride (GaN)-based materials.

Welser's graduate studies were supported by the NASA Graduate Student Researcher’s Program, with a focus on materials for high-efficiency, multi-junction III-V solar cells. More recently, he won funding from NASA, the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and the National Science Foundation (NSF) to pioneer the development of quantum solar cell structures.

Welser received his Ph.D. in Applied Physics from Yale University in 1995 and an undergraduate degree in Physics with honors from Swarthmore College in 1989. He has also authored more than 70 publications, patents, and presentations.

See related item:

Magnolia and Kopin to co-develop InN-based quantum dot solar cells

Search: Multi-junction III-V solar cells