Collaborative ResearchCollaborative Research

Active Flagship Research Projects


Ultimate Solar: High Efficiency Multi-junction Si-based Cells and Optical Concentrators

MIT Professors: Eugene A. Fitzgerald, Judy Hoyt, and Marc Baldo

Masdar Institute Professors: Ammar Nayfeh,  Marco Stefancich, Matteo Chiesa, and Marcus Dahlem


The main objective of this research collaboration between Masdar Institute and MIT is the development of the materials, process, device and optical technology to create a novel solar cell and system. Improved understanding of what limits the performance of the system is also a goal of this work.

This research program will tackle the basic research problems required to create such a solar technology:

  • Experiment with novel semiconductor films on silicon and fabricate test cells.
  • Develop methods of achieving 20-50x concentration in combination with additional light-trapping techniques that can increase photon flux in the cell but also concentrate particular wavelengths in appropriate regions of the multi-junction cell.
  • From the systems perspective to reveal a path to a high efficiency, silicon-based concentrator solar system.


This research collaboration matches perfectly with the mission of Masdar Institute and will contribute to the social and economic goals articulated in the Abu Dhabi Economic Vision 2030. It will establish and evolve interdisciplinary and collaborative research and education and will develop capability in advanced energy and sustainability. The novelty of the research will educate students to be innovators and to grow technology and enterprise in the region and globally. Research into alternative energy sources is of vital interest to Masdar and Abu Dhabi at large, due to the inevitable decline in standard energy sources so vital to their economy.