This very distinguished scientific lecture series is presented by world renowned scientists, normally in the fall. This event benefits the university community engaged in new, emerging science and technologies.

2015/2016 Lecture

"Progress on Next Generation Thin Film Solar Cells"
Presented by: Professor Yang Yang, The Carol and Lawrence Tannas Jr. Chair Professor, Department of Materials Science and Engineering, UCLA
Date: Thursday, April 28, 2016
Time: Reception 3 p.m., Lecture 3:30 p.m.
Location: Saab ETIC - Perry Atrium

Light refreshments will be served.


Recent advances in optoelectronic devices, particularly photovoltaics (PVs), have highlighted the family of organic-inorganic hybrid perovskite (e.g. CH3NH3Pbi3) materials, due to its extreme low cost, and unprecedented rapid increase in power conversion efficiency (PCE, over 20% within five years). By combining the attributes from both organic and inorganic species, this material possesses suitable bandgap, high absorption, ambipolar charge transportations, and shallow defects.

This rapid progress is partially attributed to the long-term accumulated knowledge from the organic photovoltaics (OPV) and dye synthesis solar cell (DSSC), particular the interface engineering. It is realized that the most efficient perovskite solar cell follow p-i-n operation, with various p or n materials serving as the carrier transport layer.

In the presentation, the crucial parameters, such as film formation and interface engineering of perovskite materials will be addressed. Besides single junction perovskite solar cell, the tandem devices that combine another low band gap material to promote the light harvesting and preserve the open circuit voltage will also be discussed. Finally, the recent progress of OPV will also be discussed and its correlations to the success of perovskite solar cell will also be addressed.


Professor Yang Yang holds a B.S. in Physics from the National Cheng-Kung University in Taiwan in 1982, and he received his M.S. and Ph.D. in Physics and Applied Physics from the University of Massachusetts, Lowell in 1988 and 1992, respectively. Before he joined UCLA in 1977, he was on the research staff of UNIAX Corporation (now DuPont Display) in Santa Barbara from 1992 to 1996.

Professor Yang is the Carol and Lawrence E. Tannas Jr. Chair Professor of Materials Science and Engineering at UCLA. He is a materials physicist with expertise in the fields of organic electronics, organic/inorganic interface engineering, and the development and fabrication of related devices, such as photovoltaic cells, LEDs, and memory devices. His notable contributions to the field of organic photovoltaics (OPV) are enhanced understanding of polymer morphology and its influence on device performance; the invention of inverted tandem solar cell; and transparent OPV devices.
Since 2007, he has taken the lead in the creation of several world record cells in OPV, with a recent efficiency of 10.6% - 11.6% PCE via tandem structure.

In addition to organic solar cells, his group is also heavily involved in the development of liquid-processable CIGS/CZTS photovoltaics. His group has achieved approximately 11.2% PCE using a CISS absorber layer deposited from a solution-phase precursor system. Recently, his group has entered the field of perovskite solar cell, and he demonstrated 19.3% power conversion efficiency by interface engineering and improved crystal growth process.
Professor Yang has published more than 300 peer-reviewed papers (including book chapters); ~60 patents (filed or issued), and given 150 invited/plenary talks. His H-Index is 120 as of March 2016 (data from Google Scholar). He is the fellows of American Physical Society (2015); Materials Research Society (2015); Royal Society of Chemistry (2015); SPIE (2014) and the E-M Academy (2014).

Past distinguished lecturers include:

  • 2014, Krzysztof Matyjaszewski, Carnegie Mellon University
  • 2013, Wolfgang Ketterle, Nobel Laureate, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • 2012, Fred Wudl, University of California, Santa Barbara, CA
  • 2011, David A. Tirrell, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA
  • 2010, Timothy Swager, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA
  • 2009, Sir Richard Friend, University of Cambridge, U.K.
  • 2008, Craig C. Mello, Nobel Laureate, University of Massachusetts Medical School
  • 2007, Robert Grubbs, Nobel Laureate, California Institute Technology
  • 2006, Edwin L. Thomas, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • 2005, Alan J. Heeger, Nobel Laureate, University of California
  • 2004, George Whitesides, Harvard University
  • 2003, Robert S. Langer, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • 2002, Alan G. MacDiarmid, Nobel Laureate, University of Pennsylvania