Emanuel Sachs is Fred Fort Flowers and Daniel Fort Flowers Professor of Mechanical Engineering and specializes in the design of manufacturing processes. Dr. Sachs is the inventor of “String Ribbon”, a ribbon crystal growth process for making low cost substrates for solar cells, which is now being commercialized by Evergreen Solar, Inc. of Marlboro, MA. By obviating the need to make wafers by sawing ingots, String Ribbon offers a dramatically different cost structure for photovoltaics (PV). Evergreen currently operates 2 plants with a total capacity of 45 megawatts/year, with a 50 MW plant under plan. Dr. Sachs co-invented Three Dimensional Printing, a manufacturing process for the creation of 3D parts directly from a computer model in layers. 3D Printing is being commercialized in fields-of-use including appearance models, ceramic molds for castings, direct metal tooling, end-use metal parts, medical devices, and pharmaceuticals. Dr. Sachs is also known for work in the area of Process Control of VLSI fabrication. Prior to joining the faculty, Dr. Sachs spent seven years working in the photovoltaics industry. Dr. Sachs is the author or co-author of more than 110 technical papers and is the inventor or co-inventor of more than 40 patents. Dr. Sachs was awarded the B.S., M.S. and Ph.D. degrees all in Mechanical Engineering and all from MIT in 1975, 1976, and 1983, respectively. Dr. Sachs was a Hertz Foundation Fellow and earned the Hertz Foundation Doctoral Thesis Prize in 1983 for his work on String Ribbon. Together with co-workers, Dr. Sachs was awarded an R&D 100 award in 1994 for his work on 3D Printing. He has received several best paper awards.
Dr. Sachs is totally focused on PV for his research and he supervises a growing PV research group at MIT. The group is currently pursuing projects in wafer fabrication, surface texturing for light trapping, metallization, and light trapping at the module design level.