Laura Spinella joined the solar Photovoltaic Reliability and Systems Engineering group at NREL in 2018. She specializes in material reliability analyses which are used to inform material selection, processing conditions, and product design. At NREL, her research has addressed various photovoltaic module material issues using chemical, mechanical, and optical testing to identify root causes and assess accelerated testing protocols. She has investigated encapsulant delamination, solder joint failure, and solar cell cracking for both current and emerging photovoltaic technologies.

Prior to joining NREL, Spinella studied microelectronic interconnects and packaging, focusing on state-of-the-art through-silicon via technology for 3D chip architectures. The effect of downscaling the through-silicon via dimensions and the impact of the processing conditions were demonstrated through microscale metallurgical analysis, synchrotron x-ray microdiffraction measurements, and a custom-built thermomechanical experimental setup.

Spinella received her Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin in materials science and engineering. Her dissertation, advised by Paul S. Ho, was titled, “The Scaling and Microstructure Effects on the Thermal Stress and Reliability of Through-Silicon Vias in 3D Integrated Circuits.” She received her B.S. in materials science and engineering from Rice University and completed research internships at the Microelectronics Research Center at the Georgia Institute of Technology and the Soft Materials (Liquid Crystal) Materials Research Center at the University of Colorado Boulder.


Ph.D., Materials Science and Engineering, University of Texas at Austin

B.S., Materials Science and Engineering, Rice University

Featured Work

Thermomechanical Fatigue Resistance of Low Temperature Solder for Multiwire Interconnects in Photovoltaic Modules, Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells (2021)

Fourier-Transform Infrared Spectroscopy Investigation of Ethylene Vinyl Acetate Chemical Bonding Environment and Its Impact on Debond Energy, IEEE Journal of Photovoltaics (2019)

Synchrotron X-Ray Microdiffraction Investigation of Scaling Effects on Reliability for Through-Silicon Vias for 3D Integration, IEEE Transactions on Device and Materials Reliability (2019) 

View all NREL publications for Laura Spinella.