Collaborative Research: Nanostructure Growth Process Modeling and Optimal Experimental Strategies for Repeatable Fabrication of Nanostructures for Application in Photovoltaics

Project Details


The research objective of this award is to establish statistics-transformed nanostructure growth process models and efficient experimental strategies for improving process repeatability in the fabrication of nanostructures for the application in photovoltaic cells. To achieve repeatable fabrication of photovoltaic cells with respect to yield (productivity) and uniformity (quality), it is essential to identify and optimize the growth conditions rooted on predictive process models. These models will capture the mechanisms of nanostructure growth under process uncertainties. Since most of the current growth kinetics models are deterministic, the research will first devise statistics-transformed nanostructure growth process models that account for uncertainties. Based on the process model, optimal experimental strategies will be established for model estimation and validation with a high degree of precision under cost and time constraints. The methodology will be validated through controlled growth of nanowires and fabrication of photovoltaic cells.

Successful completion of this research will lead to new tools and methods for improving process repeatability and yield in nanomanufacturing, particularly in the large scale fabrication of photovaic cells. Reducing cost in photovoltaics gives prospect of achieving highly efficient and low-cost solar energy conversion, increasing the utilization of clean and renewable energy, and creating green job opportunities. This truly interdisciplinary project will promote training of a new breed of workforce excelling at nanomanufacturing process modeling and optimization and contributing to the sustainable growth of US economy. The educational goal will be achieved through (1) creating interdisciplinary nanomanufacturing curricular materials, (2) enhancing the existing research and education collaborations between University of Southern California and Harvard University, and (3) involving women/minority students through REU (Research Experience for Undergraduates) program. The generated knowledge will be broadly disseminated through leading journals, conferences, websites, and collaborators.

Effective start/end date8/15/107/31/13


  • National Science Foundation: $159,999.00


Explore the research topics touched on by this project. These labels are generated based on the underlying awards/grants. Together they form a unique fingerprint.