Michael Powalla

Associate Editor


Zentrum für Sonnenenergie- und Wasserstoff-Forschung
Baden-Württemberg (ZSW)
Leiter Geschäftsbereich Photovoltaik
Mitglied des Vorstandes
Industriestraße 6
70565 Stuttgart
Phone: 49 711 78 70 263
    Fax: 49 711 78 70 230




Prof. Dr. Michael Powalla is Head of the Photovoltaics Division and Member of the Board at Zentrum für Sonnenenergie- und Wasserstoff-Forschung Baden-Württemberg (Center for Solar Energy and Hydrogen Research, ZSW) in Stuttgart, Germany.

He holds a professorship for thin-film photovoltaics at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), located at the Light Technology Institute at the Department of Electrical Engineering and Information Technology.

Prof. Powalla has been working in the field of thin-film photovoltaics since 1991. He worked with silicides, transparent conductive oxides, metals, different nano materials and organic materials with a focus on CIGS thin-film solar cells, different preparation methods and up scaling issues.

After studying physics and finishing his PhD in electrical engineering, he became Head of the Department Photovoltaics: Materials Research (MAT) at ZSW Stuttgart. From 2007 through 2011, he was Managing Director of Würth Elektronik Research GmbH. In 2008, he was appointed Head of Photovoltaics Division and Member of the Board at ZSW. In this position, he is also responsible for photovoltaic module and system integration. Under his leadership, the ZSW researchers achieved the world record for thin-film solar cells with an efficiency of 20.3 percent in July 2010 for a CIGS cell with a size of 0.5 square centimeters.

Prof. Powalla’s activities at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) began 2003 with a regular series of lectures in photovoltaics at the then so-called University of Karlsruhe, Department of Mechanical Engineering. He is also involved in the Karlsruhe School of Optics and Photonics (KSOP), the Center for Functional Nanostructures (CFN) at KIT and the Shared Research Group on “Electronic properties of nano-scaled solar cells” at KIT.

He has been project leader and coordinator of numerous national and international projects (e.g. German Federal Ministry of Education and Research, Federal Ministry for the Environment BMBF, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU)): He was involved in the EUROCIS-II program as well as in the EU programs FP4 through FP7.

Prof. Powalla is a renowned expert in thin-film photovoltaics. His publications number about 210 in journals and conference proceedings, and he has held more than 17 invited talks at international conferences and colloquia since 2003. He is a member of the Scientific Committee of the European Conference on Photovoltaic Energy Conversion (EU-PVSEC).