David Albin

David Albin

Researcher V-Materials Science


David Albin has more than 30 years of experience in thin-film solar cell R&D with cadmium telluride (CdTe) and Cu(In,Ga)Se2 (CIGS) semiconductors, resulting in 100+ publications and nine U.S. patents. He has implemented numerous deposition system designs and builds including NREL’s first H2Se selenization lab, the first-generation two-port close-spaced sublimation system, and a next-generation CdTe vapor transport deposition (VTD) tool. He worked extensively as the primary scientific point of contact, helping numerous industrial partners enter the field—including Abengoa Solar (hybrid VTD of CIGS), Primestar Solar (CdTe), and General Electric (CdTe). Technically, he was also an early champion of thin-film cell reliability and helped organize numerous first-time national and international conferences and technical meetings in this important area of research. His current work involves the extrinsic doping of polycrystalline thin films.

Research Interests

Doping of polycrystalline thin-film semiconductors

Thin-film grain growth and morphology control

Process design, control, and optimization

Thin-film deposition system design

Data management and experimental design


Ph. D. Materials Science and Engineering with minor in Electrical Engineering, University of Arizona

M.S. Ceramic Engineering, University of Illinois

B.S. Ceramic Engineering, University of Illinois

Featured Work

Automating Business Information Gathering for Knowledge Generation and Process Optimization Using JMP,  JMP User Conference (2007)

Accelerated Stress Testing and Diagnostic Analysis of Degradation in CdTe Solar Cells, NREL Conference Paper (2008)

A Novel Approach for Correlating Capacitance Data with Performance During Thin-Film Device Stress Studies, NREL Conference Paper (2011)

Growth Temperature and Stoichiometry Effects on the Inherent Stability of CdS/CdTe Solar Cells, AVS 59th International Symposium & Exhibition (2012)

Analysis of Governing Factors for Photovoltaic Loss Mechanism of n-CdS/p-CdTe Heterojunction via Multiway Data DecompositionProgress in Photovoltaics (2013)

Cd-rich and Te-rich Low-Temperature Photoluminescence in Cadmium TellurideAppl.  Phys. Lett. (2014)

Degradation of CdTe Solar Cells: Simulation and Experiment, IEEE Journal of Photovoltaics (2015)

CdTe Solar Cells with Open-Circuit Voltage Breaking the 1 V BarrierNature Energy (2016)

View all NREL publications for David Albin.