David Albin

Researcher V-Materials Science


Dr. Albin has more than 30 years of experience in thin-film solar cell R&D with 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

D. Albin, “Automating Business Information Gathering for Knowledge Generation and Process Optimization using JMP,” 2007 JMP User Conference (2007).

D.S. Albin, “Accelerated stress testing and diagnostic analysis of degradation in CdTe solar cells,” SPIE Optics+Photonics Meeting—Reliability of Photovoltaic Cells, Modules, Components and Systems (2008).

R.L. Graham, D.S. Albin, and L.A. Clark, “A novel approach for correlating capacitance data with performance during thin-film device stress studies,” SPIE Optics+Photonics Meeting—– Reliability of Photovoltaic Cells, Modules, Components and Systems (2011).

D.S. Albin, “Growth temperature and stoichiometry effects on the inherent stability of CdS/CdTe solar cells,” AVS 59th International Symposium & Exhibition (2012).

D. Biagioni, R.L. Graham, D.S. Albin, W.B. Jones, and C. Suh, “Analysis of governing factors for photovoltaic loss mechanism of n-CdS/p-CdTe heterojunction via multiway data decomposition,” Progress in Photovoltaics (2013).

D.S. Albin, D. Kuciauskas, J. Ma, W.K. Metzger, J.M. Burst, H.R. Moutinho, and P.C. Dippo,“Cd-rich and Te-rich low-temperature photoluminescence in cadmium telluride,” Appl.  Phys. Lett. (2014).

M. Nardone and D.S. Albin, “Degradation of CdTe solar cells: Simulation and experiment,” J. Photovoltaics (2015).

J.M. Burst, J.N. Duenow, D.S. Albin, E. Colegrove, M.O. Reese, J.A. Aguiar, C.S. Jiang, M.K. Patel, M.M. Al-Jassim, D.Kuciauskas, S. Swain, T. Ablekim, K.G. Lynn, and W.K. Metzger, “CdTe solar cells with open-circuit voltage breaking the 1 V barrier,” Nature Energy (2016).

View all NREL publications for David Albin.