Ron Sinton

Associate Editor


Sinton Instruments
4720 Walnut St Suite 102
Boulder, Co 80301
Phone: +1 303 945 2196
    Fax: +1 303 945 2199


Ronald A. Sinton received his Ph.D in Applied Physics from Stanford University in 1987, following a B.S. from the University of Colorado in 1981.  After a Research Associate position at Stanford, he was a founding member of SunPower Corp. before starting Sinton Instruments in 1992.

His early technical work at Stanford University included the demonstration of 28%-efficient silicon concentrator solar cells,  and work on the device physics of high-injection solar cells including detailed device modeling, measurements of Auger recombination and carrier mobilities, the development of advanced passivation and emitter technologies, test and measurement equipment for carrier lifetime and efficiency measurements, and studies of solar-cell efficiency vs. design and process complexity. This led to simplified solar cell designs with efficiency comparable to the best devices.  At SunPower, these technologies were moved towards manufacturing feasibility and commercialization.

At Sinton Instruments, the focus shifted first to consulting on projects such as the development of a NASA solar-power aircraft that exceeded 29,600 m in altitude and innovations leading to novel test and measurement instruments.  The company now specializes in carrier lifetime measurements on silicon bricks, ingots, and wafers, solar cell IV testers, and solar module testers.  Many of the instruments that are now quite standard within the industry were developed at Sinton Instruments, including the QSSPC method for studying bulk lifetime and surface passivations in wafers (1995), the standard methods for bulk lifetime measurements in ingots and bricks (2004), the Suns-Voc technique (1995), as well as the constant-charge method for accurately measuring high-efficiency n-type solar cells and modules in production(2005).  These tools are in use at over 300 institutions and production facilities worldwide. Data from Sinton carrier-lifetime testers has been presented or cited in over 1000 scientific publications, creating a de-facto standard for lifetime measurements in silicon and a lifetime of fruitful collaborations with scientists, labs, and companies worldwide.  These lifetime-test methods were incorporated into a SEMI Standard PV-13.  Each of these techniques is solidly based on silicon device physics principles, facilitating extensive characterization results for studying the device physics of surface passivations and bulk lifetime supporting the growth of the silicon solar cell industry.

Dr. Sinton has coauthored over 100 publications in solar cell device physics and technology, 7 patents, and has participated in program committees for 4 conference series and reviews for 5 journals.