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NSF, DoE Co-Fund Solar Tech Research Center
Aug 2011
ARLINGTON, Va., Aug. 22, 2011 — The National Science Foundation (NSF) and the Department of Energy (DoE) have announced that they will fund an engineering research center (ERC) that will develop interdisciplinary research and education programs to address energy challenges, such as how to realize large-scale, sustainable, domestic energy sources. Over the next five years, they will invest $18.5 million in the center, which has been dubbed the NSF/DoE ERC for Quantum Energy and Sustainable Solar Technologies (QESST).

The QESST ERC proposes to develop both the technologies and manufacturing processes to dramatically increase the amount of solar photovoltaic energy supplying the nation's homes and businesses. (Images: Arizona State University)

QESST, led by Arizona State University, proposes to develop the technologies and manufacturing processes to dramatically increase the amount of solar energy supplying the nation's homes and businesses by combining fundamental materials research in silicon, thin-film, and tandem solar cells with systems-level issues of manufacturability and integration. QESST researchers will consider sustainability and resource constraints to inform material and technological choices. The center also will educate a new generation of engineers in solar energy technologies and manufacturing techniques.

Arizona State University researchers Christiana Honsberg and Stuart Bowden, part of the QESST ERC.

The center will be based at Arizona State University, in partnership with California Institute of Technology, MIT, and the universities of Delaware and New Mexico. Researchers at Imperial College London, the University of Tokyo and the University of New South Wales, Australia, will contribute additional expertise and international perspectives. The center also will collaborate with nearly 40 industry partners, including multinational corporations, manufacturers and startup firms.

For more information, visit:

AmericasArizona State UniversityBusinessCalifornia Institute of TechnologyDepartment of EnergyDOEenergygreen photonicsImperial College LondonindustrialMITNational Science FoundationNSFNSF/DoE QESST ERCphotovoltaicsQESSTQuantum Energy and Sustainable Solar TechnologiesSolar Energytandem solar cellsthin-film solar cellsUniversity of DelawareUniversity of New MexicoUniversity of South Wales AustraliaUniversity of TokyoVirginia

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