Photo of Craig Perkins

Craig Perkins

Researcher V-Chemistry

Google Scholar

Joining NREL in 2000, Craig Perkins is a senior scientist in the laboratory’s Interfacial and Surface Science group, where he works with photovoltaic and energy materials. He received a bachelor's degree in chemistry from the University of Florida in 1990, going on to study gas-phase chemistry of van der Waals molecules at the University of Central Florida. He switched gears to the solid state in 1992, investigating the surfaces of metal boride single crystals under the supervision of Professor Michael Trenary at the University of Illinois at Chicago. In 1998, the newly minted Perkins began a 2-year postdoctoral fellowship at the Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory, part of the U.S. Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. There Perkins worked with Michael Henderson to understand chemical and physical processes that occur during photochemical reactions on surfaces of transition metal oxide crystals such as TiO2(110) and CeO2(111).

Research Interests

Surface chemical reactions

Electronic structure and band alignments

Hybrid organic-inorganic materials

Interface engineering

Metal chalcogenides

Self-assembled monolayers

Nanoparticles, two-dimensional materials

Single crystals, model systems


Ph.D., Physical/Analytical Chemistry, University of Illinois at Chicago 
B.S., Chemistry, University of Florida 

Professional Experience

Senior Scientist, Interfacial and Surface Science Group, National Center for Photovoltaics, NREL (2000–present)

Postdoctoral Fellow, Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (1998–2000)

Associations and Memberships

Renewable and Sustainable Energy Institute

Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers

American Association for the Advancement of Science

American Vacuum Society

American Chemical Society

Featured Work

Exceeding 20% Efficiency with in situ Group V Doping in Polycrystalline CdTe Solar CellsNature Energy (2019)

SnO2-Catalyzed Oxidation in High-Efficiency CdTe Solar CellsACS Applied Materials & Interfaces (2019)

Revisiting the Valence and Conduction Band Size Dependence of PbS Quantum Dot Thin FilmsACS Nano (2016)

Molecular Anchors for Self-Assembled Monolayers on ZnO: A Direct Comparison of the Thiol and Phosphonic Acid MoietiesThe Journal of Physical Chemistry C (2009)

Identification of Nitrogen Chemical States in N-doped ZnO via X-Ray Photoelectron SpectroscopyJournal of Applied Physics (2005)

Photodesorption and Trapping of Molecular Oxygen at the TiO2(110)−Water Ice InterfaceThe Journal of Physical Chemistry B (2001)

Overview of CdTe Characterization, 4th Annual CdTe Workshop (2020)

Analysis of Front Interfaces in CdTe Devices by Electron Spectroscopy, 3rd Annual CdTe Workshop (2019)

Tin Oxide-Catalyzed Production of Ultrathin Sulfur and Tellurium Oxide Layers in High Efficiency CdTe Solar Cells, 2rd Annual CdTe Workshop (2018)

Surface Chemistry of PV Module Glass, International PV Soiling Workshop (2018) 

View all NREL publications for Craig L. Perkins.


Oxygen Getters For Activation Of Group Vi Dopants In Ii-Vi Semiconductor Materials, U.S. Patent No. 17,099,279 (2020)

Awards and Honors

NREL Research Participant Program Outstanding Mentor Award (2014)

NREL Director’s Award (2005)