Richard R. King

III-V Solar Cells and Concentrators


Arizona State University
PO Box 875706
Tempe AZ 85287-5706


Prof. Richard R. King received his Ph.D. and M.S. from Stanford University in Electrical Engineering, and his B.S in Physics, also from Stanford.  He is currently Principal Scientist responsible for Photovoltaic Cell R&D at Spectrolab, Inc.  Over the past 25 years, his research on photovoltaics has explored high-efficiency solar cells in a number of semiconductor materials systems, from silicon, to the GaInP, GaInAs, and germanium subcells in III-V multijunction cells.  Dr. King and his team at Spectrolab have been especially interested in the materials science and device physics of III-V multijunction concentrator solar cells, and in advancing the efficiency of this photovoltaic technology to energize the field of concentrator photovoltaics (CPV). 

In his Ph.D. research at Stanford University, Dr. King worked to develop high-efficiency one-sun back-contact silicon solar cells, and on characterization of minority-carrier recombination at the doped Si/SiO2 interface for high-efficiency silicon solar cell design.  At Spectrolab, his research has contributed to understanding of metamorphic III-V materials lattice-mismatched to the growth substrate;  group-III sublattice ordering in GaInP;  minority-carrier recombination at III-V heterointerfaces;  wide-band-gap tunnel junctions;  high-efficiency GaInP/GaInAs/Ge triple-junction solar cells;  dilute nitride materials such as ~1-eV GaInNAs for solar cells;  and multijunction cells formed by wafer bonding dissimilar materials such as III-V semiconductors and silicon.  Dr. King led Spectrolab's development of high-efficiency III-V multijunction concentrator solar cells, recognized with R&D 100 awards in 2001 and 2007, and a Scientific American 50 award in 2002.  In 2006, this work led to a record 40.7%-efficient metamorphic 3-junction terrestrial concentrator cell, the first solar cell to reach over 40% efficiency. 

As part of a strong interest in furthering public and scientific awareness of photovoltaics, Dr. King has helped organize a number of international conferences, and served as Program Chair for the 4th International Conference on Solar Concentrators (ICSC-4) in 2007, and the 35th IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference (PVSC-35) in 2010.  Dr. King is the recipient of the 2010 William R. Cherry Award, given at the IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference, for "outstanding contributions to photovoltaic science and technology."  Dr. King was inducted into the Space Technology Hall of Fame in 2004, and has 14 patents and over 100 publications on photovoltaics and semiconductor device physics.