Distinguished Lecturer Series
"Photovoltaics and Its Potential Impact on Climate Change "
March 23, 2011
David Carlson received a B.S. from RPI in 1963 and a Ph.D. from Rutgers in 1968. He then worked as a R&D Physicist at the U.S. Army Nuclear Effects Laboratory, and served as a Captain in charge of 110 men at a communications site in Vietnam. In 1970, he joined RCA where he received Outstanding Achievement Awards. He invented the amorphous silicon solar cell in 1974 and was the first to demonstrate that hydrogenated amorphous silicon could be used to form a semiconductor junction. For this work, he received the Ross Coffin Purdy Award of the American Ceramic Society. In 1983, he joined Solarex (merged into BP Solar in 1999) as the Director of Research and Deputy GM of the Thin Film Division; he is currently the Chief Scientist and the Manager of Future Technology Programs. He has received numerous awards for his pioneering work and leadership in photovoltaics, including the IEEE Morris N. Liebmann Award, the Franklin Institute’s Walton Clark Medal, the William R. Cherry Award, and the Karl W. Boer Medal (from the Inter. Solar Energy Society and the Univ. of Delaware). He is also a Fellow of the IEEE.