New SULI Intern at NREL

2017.01.12 Nathan Rodkey, undergraduate researcher and webmaster extraordinaire, heads off to NREL for a semester to study III-V photoelectrochemical cells as part of the DOE Science Undergraduate Laboratory Internship (SULI) program.

PCASE scholars return home after a long journey

2016.12.10 The second cohort of MS students participating in the US-Pakistan Center for Advanced Studies in Energy (USPCASE)—Mehwish, Qudsia, Farah, Asad, and Waqar—completed their semester-long internship in the Holman Group and, following a rousing game of cricket, boarded a flight to head home.

Ngoni Mugwisi earns Rhodes Scholarship!

Ngoni Mugwisi2016.12.09 Ngoni Mugwisi, a senior who is writing his Barrett Honors thesis in the Holman Research Group on cost models for tandem solar cells, earned a Rhodes Scholarship and will begin his graduate studies at Oxford next fall. [link to the article]

Team Heliovation wins best-senior-design-project award

2016.12.02 Team Heliovation, an ECEE senior design team working with Zak and a leading CSP power plant developer to model stand-alone heliostats, won the Palais Senior Design Prize. This is the second consecutive team mentored by Zak to win a best-senior-design-project award.

The Holman group continues to grow… Two new postdocs and two graduate students join the cause!

2016.11.21 Two new postdocs—Martyn Fisher and Drew Swanson—join the Holman Research Group to lead new efforts on wide-bandgap II-VI solar cells for tandems and on thermally insulating single-pane windows. Two new PhD students, Will Weigand and Jonathan Bryan, also joined the group earlier in the fall but we forgot to let y’all know about them. See their shining faces on the People page.

Zak Joins the ASU Trustees

2016.10.28 Zak was named a Trustees of ASU Professor—one of only three at the university—and presented the group’s work to the Trustees during their October meeting. The position comes with $75,000 in discretionary funding over five years. [link to article]

Another Faculty Award for Zak!

2016.09.27 Zak received the inaugural Joseph C. Palais Distinguished Faculty Scholar Award. The award, created by long-time ECEE faculty member, Graduate Program Chair, and fiber optics expert Joseph Palais, recognizes excellence in teaching, research, and service.

Selecting Tandem Partners for Silicon Cells

2016.09.26 Jason, Mehdi, and Zak published a Comment in Nature Energy describing a design methodology for tandem solar cells using a concept called “spectral efficiency.” [link to paper ]

Holman Research Group wins two Sunshot awards

2016.09.26 mnj ASU took 5 out of 19 awards from the latest Sunshot initiative funding program (PVRD), two of these awards going to projects led by Zak. One aims at demonstrating high-efficiency and cost-effective II-VI on silicon tandem solar modules, while the other aims at increasing the reliability while decreasing the cost of back-contacted silicon module. An ASU article and the funding agency website give more details about the projects.

Holman Research Group well represented at the Arizona Student Energy Conference

2016.09.20 mnj Six Holman Group members, five REU students, and five PCASE scholars attended the 2016 Arizona Student Energy Conference at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff. Zak gave a talk about tandem solar cells, several students presented posters, and Jason won a best poster award. A few pictures here.

PVmirror highlighted by ARPA-E

2016.08.22 The PVmirror project was highlighted in an ARPA-E news article which features an interview of Roger Angel and Zak, as well as a video of the testing of PVmirrors.

New DOE-funded project on tandem solar cells

2016.08.01 mnj A new project recently started aiming at demonstrating an unconventional concept of tandem system to raise photovoltaics module efficiency to greater than 30 percent. This project and the other ASU project funded from this call were highlighted in ASU news, as well as in local news. All funded projects are described here.

Postdoc positions

2016.08.01 The Holman Research Group has opportunities for three post-doctoral researchers in the areas of wide-bandgap II-VI solar cells, silicon-based tandem solar cells, and thermally insulating particulate coatings. We are looking for researchers who are productive, can lead projects, and can teach themselves—excellent candidates do not need to be an expert in the subject matter already.

We bid adieu to the REUs

2016.07.31 mnj Friday marked the end of a nine-week summer of research for nine community college and undergraduate students who came to ASU from around the country. The NSF-sponsored Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program is directed by Zak (who was himself an REU student many moons ago) and will continue for two more years. This year’s students worked in four teams to make new materials, devices, modules, and recycling methods for photovoltaics. They will present their results at the Arizona Student Energy Conference in September.

ASU a strong player at the main American PV conference

2016.07.29 mnj The strong representation of ASU at the latest IEEE PVSC conference was highlighted on ASU’s website. The best student presentation award as well as the best poster award for both main areas (“Silicon Photovoltaic Materials and Devices” and “Chalcogenide Thin Film Solar Cells”, accounting for more than half papers) were swept by ASU students—two of which involved contributions from the Holman Research Group.

Awards and interview

2016.07.01 After being granted an extended presentation at the IEEE PVSC in June, Yuan Zhao won a best student presentation award for his work on high-efficiency monocrystalline CdTe solar cells, part of a collaboration between ASU’s MBE Optoelectronics Group and Holman Research Group. Well done Yuan! Later this month, Prof. Yong-Hang Zhang and Zak were invited to the local news to discuss the implications of this research.

New project to start

2016.06.01 A new project was accepted for funding within ARPA-E’s SHIELD program. This project aims at developing nanoparticle coatings to increase energy efficiency of single-pane windows. It uses the spray deposition technology which got Peter a seed funding to start up a company a few weeks ago. More details on the ASU news website, and a news report including video of the tool and examples of coatings here.

New paper published in Nature Energy online

2016.05.17 Recent results on monocrystalline Cadmium Telluride solar cell obtained in a collaboration between the MBE Optoelectronics Group and the Holman Research Group have just been published in Nature Energy. The combination of excellent CdTe electronic quality and silicon-based hole contact allowed unprecedented open-circuit voltage and efficiency to be reached for this thin-film technology.

Zak wins a faculty award

2016.05.16 Zak Zak won a Fulton Outstanding Assistant Professors award, recognizing faculties in the middle of their probationary period who also contribute at a high level in teaching, research and service. Great job Zak, congratulations !

Nanoparticle coatings go big

2016.05.13 Peter beat out 19 other teams to win the ASU New Venture Challenge, a business-plan competition. He netted LNTech, the nanoparticle spray coating company created by him and Zak, $45k in investment seed funding as well as perks such as free legal support.

End of semester for visitors

2016.05.13 The Holman Research Group said goodbye to Warda, Saleem, Mahmood, Asghar, and Ijaz—visiting Master’s students who interned with the group during the Spring semester as part of the USAID-sponsored U.S.-Pakistan Center for Advanced Studies in Energy. Before we let them go, we challenged them to a game of cricket and enjoyed dinner together.

Summer program for students funded

2016.04.02 A first cohort of students was selected for photovoltaics Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) which will be led by Zak. They will have the opportunity to experience research in photovoltaics in the facilities of ASU.

End of the 2016 Spring MRS meeting in Phoenix

2016.04.02 Mehdi-award It has been a busy week for nerds in downtown Phoenix with many fascinating presentations. As for the Holman Research Group, Mehdi was nominated for a best poster award and Zak’s presentation about PVMirrors gathered an interested crowd and was highlighted in the MRS blog.

MRS conference in Phoenix

2016.03.26 The 2016 Spring MRS meeting will take place in Phoenix next week with 4 oral presentations and 6 poster presentations from the Holman Research Group. In symposium EP4, you can hear Jianwei talk about hydrogen plasma treatments of amorphous silicon films on Tuesday at 4:15 and Joe about microcrystalline silicon nucleation on Thursday at 4:30, whereas in symposium EE3, Zak will talk about PVmirrors on Tuesday at 4:45 and Jason about infrared-tuned silicon cells for tandem applications on Wednesday at 2:15.

Jason’s paper is THE most popular article of IEEE JPV in January and February

2016.03.17 Update – The PVmirror concept, presented in an IEEE JPV paper published last August was the third most downloaded paper from this journal in December, and the most popular in January and February. Keep downloading for the hat-trick!

Kate, Jason and Zak at the 2016 ARPA-E Energy innovation summit

2016.03.01 Jason PosterFormer Vice-President Al Gore quizzed Zak on the technical details of PVMirrors at the 2016 ARPA-E Energy innovation summit in Washington DC. Zak also showed off the technology to World Bank President Dr. Jim Yong Kim and BASF Corporation CEO Wayne Smith. More details

New DOE SuNLaMP project with NREL to develop inexpensive, high-efficiency IBC solar cells

2016.02.25 NREL partners with the Holman Research group in a recently funded DOE project towards inexpensive high-efficiency interdigitated back contacted silicon cells, notably through the use of innovative dopant patterning using nanoparticle spraying.

First cohort of PCASE scholars begins work in the Holman Research Group

2016.02.24 The Holman Research Group welcomed in January five Pakistani students in the framework of the Partnership Center for Advanced Studies in Energy (PCASE) for which Zak is co-PI. PCASE is a USAID project awarded to ASU in June 2015 designed to start two new energy research centers in Pakistan.

Two graduate students receive awards from the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering

2015.11.08 In recognition of their extraordinary achievements, Peter and Jason were offered respectively the Barrett Electronic Materials Fellowship and a Harold and Lucille Dunn Memorial Engineering Scholarship, both for the academic year 2015-2016. Many thanks to both donors !

Two new FURI awardees

2015.11.08 Electrical engineering juniors Angelo Delluomo and Nathan Rodkey are selected by the Fulton Undergraduate Research Initiative (FURI) to conduct funded research. They will join Kari Sanford as FURI scholars in the Holman Research Group.

Peter and “Deppy” appear in a Science Nation Video

2015.11.03 The nanoparticle synthesis and deposition system “Deppy” from the Holman lab is showcased by Peter in the first half minute of this week’s Science Nation video, “Helping nanotechnology work for everyone.” This video is about the Center for Nanotechnology in Society at Arizona State University and a selection of its efforts, collaborations, and research aimed at incorporating responsible innovation practices into the development and deployment of nanotechnology and other emerging technologies.

PVMirror project in the news

2015.09.26 SPIE Newsroom published an article on the PVMirror concept:

PVMirror project featured on the ARPA-E blog

2015.09.18 The PVMirror project was featured on the ARPA-E blog:

New grant for tandem devices awarded

2015.09.03 Jason PosterHolman Research Group and the Lee group at Yale are awarded a National Science Foundation grant to develop 30% efficient GaAsP/Si tandem solar cells. The award is for $400k over three years.

Two papers online in August

2015.09.01 The PVMirror concept is presented in Jason’s publication to appear in IEEE Journal of Photovoltaics, and amorphous silicon carbide layers are advantageously used in silicon heterojunction solar cells in Mathieu’s publication appearing in Journal of Applied Physics.

Jason wins best poster award at IEEE PVSC

2015.07.06 JJason Posterason won the best poster award at the 2015 IEEE PVSC Conference in New Orleans in the area III “High, Medium and Low Concentration, Cells to Systems” for his poster entitled PVMirror: A Tandem Solar Cell that Collects Diffuse Light.

Three talks and a poster at IEEE PVSC

2015.06.13 Mathieu, Priyaranga, and Mehdi will give talks at the upcoming 2015 IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference in New Orleans, and Jason will present a poster. Priyaranga is a candidate for a best student presentation award.

Priyaranga and Mathieu win best poster award at AzSEC

2015 Matt and Pri poster thumbnail2015.04.21 Priyaranga and Mathieu were awarded a best poster award at the 2015 Arizona Student Energy Conference in Tucson for their poster entitled Designing Passivating, Carrier-Selective Contacts for Photovoltaic Devices.

Joe wins NSF GRFP

2015.03.30 Joe was awarded an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship for his proposal entitled Improving Solar Cells Using Silicon Nanocrystals. Joe will begin his fellowship at the end of his IGERT fellowship.

Zak wins teaching award

2015.03.30   Zak received a Top 5% Teaching Award from the ASU Fulton Schools of Engineering.

About the Lab

The Holman Research Group, led by Prof. Zachary Holman, is in the ASU School of Electrical, Computer and Energy Engineering.

As a member of the Quantum Energy and Sustainable Solar Technology (QESST) Engineering Research Center, the group develops high-efficiency silicon solar cells.

Active research topics include silicon and metal oxide materials, silicon heterojunction solar cells, and silicon-based tandem solar cells.



Zachary Holman, Assistant Professor
School of Electrical, Computer and Energy Engineering
Arizona State University
Tempe, AZ., 85287-9709


Sabrina Beck C/O Zachary Holman
Arizona State University
ECEE Bus. Ofc. GWC Room 302
650 E. Tyler Mall
Tempe, AZ 85287-5706
Find us at the Engineering Research Center (ENGRC 175)