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Photo of Howard Branz

Howard Branz

Principal Scientist
On staff since: 1987

Phone number: 303-384-6694
Email Howard Branz

Primary Research Interests

  • Film crystal silicon photovoltaics
  • Defects, metastability, and diffusion in semiconductors
  • Amorphous semiconductors
  • Solar hydrogen production
  • Nanostructured black silicon antireflection

Other Affiliations

  • Materials Research Society (MRS)
  • American Physical Society
  • Session Organizer, 16th American Conference on Crystal Growth and Epitaxy (ACCGE-16)
  • Co-Chair, 22nd International Conference on Amorphous and Nanocrystalline Semiconductors, 2007 (ICANS22)


  • Ph.D. (1987) in Condensed-Matter Physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Ph.D. thesis completed under the direction of David Adler and John Haggerty on hydrogenated amorphous silicon (a-Si:H) growth, transport physics, and devices
  • B.A. in physics from Brandeis University

Hobbies and Other Interests

  • Foreign languages
  • Jazz and classical flute
  • Mushroom hunting and identification
  • Backpacking, running, and yoga

Selected Publications

Teplin, C.W.; Paranthaman, M.P.; Fanning, T.R.; Alberi, K.; Heatherly, L.; Wee, S.-H.; Kim, K.; List, F.A.; Pineau, J.; Bornstein, J.; Bowers, K.; Lee, D.F.; Cantoni, C.; Hane, S.; Schroeter, P.; Young, D.L.; Iwaniczko, E.; Jones, K.M.; and Branz, H.M., "Heteroepitaxial film crystal silicon on Al2O3 for solar cells on cube-textured metal foil," Energy and Environmental Science, DOI: 10.1039/C1EE01555A, 2011.

Oh, J.; Deutsch, T.G.; Yuan, H.-C.; and Branz, H.M., "Nanoporous black silicon photocathode for H2 production by photoelectrochemical water splitting," Energy and Environmental Science, vol. 4, 2011, pp. 1690–94.

Alberi, K.; Martin, I.T.; Shub, M.; Teplin, C.W.; Romero, M.J.; Iwaniczko, E.; Duda, A.; Stradins, P.; Branz. H.M.; Young, D.L. "Material quality requirements for efficient epitaxial film silicon solar cells," Appl. Phys. Lett., Vol. 96, 2010; pp. 73502.

Yuan, H.-C.; Yost, V.E.; Page, M.R.; Stradins, P.; Meier, D.L.; Branz, H.M. "Efficient black silicon solar cell with a density-graded nanoporous surface: Optical properties, performance limitations and design rules," Appl. Phys. Lett., Vol. 95, 2009; pp. 123501.

Teplin, C.W.; Jiang, C.S.; Stradins, P.; Branz, H.M. "Cone kinetics model for two-phase film silicon deposition." Appl. Phys. Lett., Vol. 92, 2008; pp. 93114–6.

Du, M.-H.; Branz, H.M.; Crandall, R.S.; Zhang, S.B. "Self-trapping enhanced carrier recombination at light-induced boron-oxygen complexes in silicon," Phys. Rev. Lett., Vol. 97, 2006; pp. 256602–5.

Branz, H.M. "The hydrogen collision model: Quantitative description of metastability in amorphous silicon," Phys. Rev. B, Vol. 59, 1999; pp. 5498–5512.

Yelon, A.; Movaghar, B.; Branz, H.M. "Origin and consequences of the compensation (Meyer-Neldel) law," Phys. Rev. B, Vol. 46, 1992; pp. 12244–12250.