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Photo of Satyen Deb.

Satyendra Deb

Emeritus Researcher

Dr. Satyen K. Deb received his Ph.D. in Solid State Physics from the Cavendish Laboratory, Cambridge University. He directs NREL's Center for Basic Sciences, which comprises about 90 scientists engaged in basic and applied research in materials, chemicals, and biosciences. These disciplines underpin various renewable energy technologies, such as photovoltaics (PV), photoconversion, bioconversion, generation and storage of hydrogen, superconductivity, and building technologies. For more than a decade, he managed NREL's in-house PV research involving crystalline silicon, amorphous silicon, polycrystalline thin films (CIGS), and III-V semiconductors, which led to world-record efficiencies. He also played a crucial role in developing other key research capabilities at NREL, including electrochromic materials and devices and high-TC superconducting materials.

As a researcher, Dr. Deb pioneered the development of liquid-crystal and electrochromic display technologies and discovered the electrochromic phenomenon in transition metal oxides. He was the first to discover (in 1976–78) the dye-sensitized TiO 2 solar cell (Graetzel Cell) and also developed a number of technologically important materials and devices. He has authored more than 190 scientific publications, 20 U.S. patents, and 3 book chapters.

Prior to joining NREL in 1978, he held senior research and management positions at Optel Corp. (Princeton, NJ); American Cyanamid Co. (Stamford, CT), where he was a corporate research fellow; CNRS Lab (France); and NRC (Ottawa, Canada). He served as adjunct professor at the University of Colorado (CU) and the Colorado School of Mines and as a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the Optical Computation Center at CU. He is a Fellow of the American Physical Society. He has organized many conferences and workshops and lectured extensively throughout the world.


1960 Ph.D., Solid State Physics, Cavendish Laboratory, Cambridge University, England

1955 M.S., Dakha University, Bangladesh

1953 B.S., Dakha University, Bangladesh.

Featured Work

S.K. Deb, "A Novel Electrophotographic System," Applied Optics Suppl. 192 (1969).

S.K. Deb, "Optical and Photoelectric Properties and Color Centers in Thin Films of WO 3," Phil. Mag. 27, 801 (1973).

Y.S. Tsuo, E.B. Smith, and S.K. Deb (1987). "Ion-Beam Hydrogenation of Amorphous Silicon." Appl. Phys. Lett. (51:18); pp. 1436-1438.

A. Mascarenhas, H. Katayama-Yoshida, J. Pankove, and S.K. Deb (1989). "Copper Isotope Effect in Raman Scattering on Superconducting YBa 2Cu 3O 7-x." Phys. Rev. B (39:7); pp. 4699-4700.

F.A.J.M. Driessen, H.M. Cheong, A. Mascarenhas, S.K. Deb, P.R. Hageman, A.R. Bavhis, and L.J. Ailing (1996). "Interface-induced Conversion of Infrared to Visible Light in Semiconductor Interfaces." Phys. Rev. B (54); p. R5263.

H.M. Cheong, S.-H. Lee, B.P. Nelson, A. Mascarenhas, and S.K. Deb (2000). "Light-Induced Long Range Hydrogen Motion in a-Si at Room Temperature." Appl. Phys. Lett. (77:17); p. 2686.

View all NREL publications for Satyen Deb.