GOLDEN, Colo., Dec. 1, 2014 – Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz recently announced more than $53 million for 40 innovative solar energy research and development projects, including one competitive award to Colorado School of Mines and the Energy Department’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), to develop low cost, extremely high efficiency solar cells. This project supports the goals of the Energy Department’s SunShot Initiative to drive down the cost of solar energy and move innovative ideas to the market more quickly.

The Mines-NREL project is funded through SunShot’s Next Generation Photovoltaics program to accelerate the development of next generation photovoltaic (PV) technologies that will further drive down costs and improve the performance, efficiency, and durability of solar PV devices.

Assistant Professor Corinne Packard, of the Mines Metallurgical and Materials Engineering Department, is working with NREL researchers Aaron Ptak and David Young on a project to develop a InGaAsP/Si (indium gallium arsenide phosphide/silicon) tandem photovoltaic technology that leverages extremely high efficiency devices and low-cost, high-throughput methods to meet and exceed SunShot cost targets.

Specifically, the project will conduct controlled liftoff of III-V devices grown on Ge substrates with attention toward device quality, substrate reuse, and manufacturability, while also developing a low-cost, high-throughput growth of highly efficient III-V solar cells with the optimal bandgap to achieve the maximum efficiency from a two-junction structure. Furthermore, the project will attempt a proof-of-concept integration to illustrate that this technology is capable of achieving >30 percent conversion efficiency.


About the SunShot Initiative

The U.S. Department of Energy SunShot Initiative is a collaborative national effort that aggressively drives innovation to make solar energy fully cost-competitive with traditional energy sources before the end of the decade. Through SunShot, the Energy Department supports efforts by private companies, universities, and national laboratories to drive down the cost of solar electricity to $0.06 per kilowatt-hour. Learn more at


Karen Gilbert, Director of Public Relations, Colorado School of Mines / 303-273-3541 /
Kathleen Morton, Communications Coordinator, Colorado School of Mines / 303-273-3088 /