Solar Cell Efficiency World Record Holder Dr. Stephanie Essig joins Sol Voltaics

Solar energy pioneer Sol Voltaics has announced the appointment of dual-junction, solar cell efficiency world record holder Dr. Stephanie Essig as Senior Device & Characterization Scientist. Dr. Essig, who brings a wealth of expertise in tandem solar cell research from work with acclaimed institutes Fraunhofer ISE and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, will help Sol Voltaics accelerate the commercialization of its efficiency boosting solar nanowires.

“Dr. Essig joins Sol Voltaics at a pivotal point in our mission to deliver record efficiency boosting technology for the solar energy market,” said Erik Smith, CEO of Sol Voltaics. “Having recently manufactured solar PV nanowires with our low-cost Aerotaxy process, we have now entered the final stages of technology optimization in our quest to mass produce our SolFilm product. Dr. Essig brings invaluable experience in the development of tandem solar cell technologies that will help Sol Voltaics achieve commercialization and deliver our much anticipated technology to the global solar energy market.”

Dr. Essig joins Sol Voltaics from Ecole polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), where she gained a Marie Skłodowska-Curie postdoc fellowship for research on optically transparent carrier-selective contacts and their integration in Si-based tandem solar cells at the University’s Photovoltaics and Thin Film Electronics Laboratory, PV-Lab. Dr Essig also gained experience at the US’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) where she co-authored the paper, “Realization of GaInP/Si dual-junction solar cells with 29.8 percent one-sun efficiency”, reporting a world record for converting non-concentrated (1-sun) sunlight into electricity using a dual-junction III-V/Si solar cell. Dr. Essig previously worked at Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE, where she focused on the development of Gallium Arsenide based multi-junction solar cells using wafer bonding.

“I’m delighted to be joining Sol Voltaics at such an exciting time for the company,” commented Dr Essig. “The ambition of the company and huge potential for SolFilm to take mainstream solar module efficiencies to previously unreachable levels are unmatched within the industry. I look forward to contributing to their already fantastic technical team and help bring this pioneering solution to the mass market.”

Last month Sol Voltaics confirmed the successful manufacture of solar nanowires through their patented process Aerotaxy. Regarded as their final and most important technology milestone, Aerotaxy enables Sol Voltaics to make their gallium arsenide nanowires at low-cost, helping module manufacturers easily adopt their SolFilm solution that boosts efficiencies by up to 50%.