Menu

Meet Our Scientists

Ajeet Rohatgi

Ajeet Rohatgi, Ph.D.

Founder, CTO

Dr. Ajeet Rohatgi is a Regents’ Professor and a John H. Weitnauer, Jr. Chair in the College of Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology. He joined Georgia Tech’s ECE faculty in 1985 and is regarded as one of the world’s leading research scientists in photovoltaic...

Read More +

Dr. Ajeet Rohatgi is a Regents’ Professor and a John H. Weitnauer, Jr. Chair in the College of Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology. He joined Georgia Tech’s ECE faculty in 1985 and is regarded as one of the world’s leading research scientists in photovoltaic (PV) technology. Dr. Rohatgi is also a Georgia Research Alliance Eminent Scholar, the founding director of the University Center of Excellence for Photovoltaic Research and Education (UCEP, where Suniva got its start) and the founder and CTO of Suniva®, Inc.

Dr. Rohatgi has positioned Suniva as a U.S. leader in the research, development and manufacturing of high-efficiency, low-cost crystalline silicon cells using unique technology that evolved from his work at UCEP. Dr. Rohatgi continues his research on the development of low-cost high-efficiency cells, innovative cell designs, and cost and technology roadmaps for attaining grid parity with silicon PV.

Under Dr. Rohatgi’s leadership, Suniva has accomplished several industry firsts and achievements, including the fastest ramp-up to 100MW production in the industry (and current expansion to 170MW); the raising of $270 million in capital since Suniva’s inception; the successful production of cell efficiencies exceeding 19%, and R&D cell efficiencies exceeding 20%.

Honored as an IEEE Fellow, Dr. Rohatgi has published more than 400 technical papers in the PV field and has been awarded 16 patents. Dr. Rohatgi is recognized globally for his research and development contributions:

  • Georgia Tech Distinguished Faculty Achievement Award by the School of ECE, 2012
  • Georgia Tech 2010 Outstanding Achievement in Research Innovation Award
  • Leadership in Technology Award by Renewable Energy World for achievements in advancing the market for renewable energy in North America, 2010
  • Named “Champions of Photovoltaics” by Photovoltaic World – The Magazine for Solar Power by Renewable Energy World Network, 2010
  • Excellence in Renewable Energy Award for Industry Leadership, 2010
  • Hoyt Clarke Hottel Award by the American Solar Energy Society (ASES) for outstanding educator and innovator in the field of photovoltaics, 2009
  • “Envention Award” by Atlanta Business Chronicle for conservation and pollution-curbing efforts, 2009
  • Thought Leadership Award finalist, Aspen Institute’s 2009 Energy & Environment, 2009
  • Climate Protection Award by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for dedication and technical innovation in PV, 2009
  • One of the Five Most Influential People in Renewable Energy by Power Finance & Risk Magazine, 2008
  • Georgia Institute of Technology Outstanding Research Program Development Award, 2007
  • William Cherry Award by the IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference, 2003
  • Rappaport Award by the U.S. Department of Energy/NREL, 2003
  • Georgia Tech Distinguished Professor Award, 1996
  • Georgia Tech Commencement Speaker, 1996
  • IEEE Fellow
  • Westinghouse Engineering Achievement Award, 1984

Dr. Rohatgi received a B.S. degree in Electrical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur, in 1971, and a M.S. degree in Materials Engineering from the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, VA in 1973. He received a Ph.D. in Metallurgy and Material Science from Lehigh University, Bethlehem, PA, in 1977.

Prior to joining the Electrical Engineering faculty at the Georgia Institute of Technology, Dr. Rohatgi was at the Westinghouse Research and Development Center in Pittsburgh, PA in 1977 and became a Westinghouse Fellow while working on the science and technology of photovoltaic and microelectronic devices.

Selected Papers:

Developing Novel Low-Cost, High-Throughput Processing for 20% Efficient Monocrystalline Silicon Solar Cells
High-Efficiency (19%) Screen-Printed Textured Cells on Low-Resistivity Float-Zone Silicon with High Sheet-Resistance Emitters
High-Thoughput, Ion-Implantation for Low-Cost High-Efficiency Silicon Solar Cells

Close -
Stephen P. Shea

Stephen P. Shea, Ph.D.

Chief Engineering Officer

Dr. Shea has spent more than 35 years in Photovoltaics, including device design, research and development, manufacturing process development, technology transfer, and engineering and operations management. As Chief Engineering Officer, Steve leads ...

Read More +

Dr. Shea has spent more than 35 years in Photovoltaics, including device design, research and development, manufacturing process development, technology transfer, and engineering and operations management. As Chief Engineering Officer, Steve leads Suniva's manufacturing design implementation, proprietary processes and growth. Prior to his current role, Steve was Vice President of Manufacturing at Suniva, leading the creation of the company's operations group, which successfully implemented the first Suniva process line in a record-setting 14 weeks from start of construction to first product. His team has also tripled production in the Norcross facility during 2009, and collaborated with Suniva R&D to optimize the company's production process to achieve average cell conversion efficiencies above 18% with no increase in capital cost and with reduced variable cost.

Prior to joining Suniva in 2007, Steve's work covered all aspects of the PV manufacturing value stream. From 2004 to 2007, Steve worked primarily as an independent PV consultant, with a portfolio of work covering process optimization, cost modeling of next-generation manufacturing processes, advanced metallization research, staff training, and a full factory installation in Egypt which included process design and documentation, staff training and factory start-up.

During 2005-2006, Steve was Senior Visiting Photovoltaic Manufacturing Specialist at Xerox-PARC in Palo Alto, CA. Prior to that, he spent more than 20 years with Solarex (later BP Solar), one of the largest vertically-integrated PV companies in the world, with factories in Maryland, Madrid, Bangalore, and Sydney. As Director of Technology in the Crystalline Division of BP Solar, Steve was responsible for technology development and implementation across the entire PV value stream, from raw material to modules. Before joining Solarex in 1983, and after completing his Ph.D., Steve ran the Materials Analysis Lab at the University of Delaware's Institute of Energy Conversion, working with a wide range of emerging thin-film materials and devices.

Steve earned an M.S.E.E. and a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Delaware, where his graduate work concentrated on Electron Beam Induced Current (EBIC) measurements of carrier transport in thin film solar cells. He also earned both a B. S. in Engineering Science and a B. A. in English Literature from Swarthmore College. Steve is the author of more than 25 papers on photovoltaics.

Close -
Adam M. Payne

Atul Gupta, Ph.D.

Director, Product Development/R&D

Dr. Atul Gupta is Suniva’s Director of Product & Research Development. His primary responsibilities include the development and execution of Suniva’s product development roadmap through adoption of innovative technologies that enable higher performance at a...

Read More +

Dr. Atul Gupta is Suniva’s Director of Product & Research Development. His primary responsibilities include the development and execution of Suniva’s product development roadmap through adoption of innovative technologies that enable higher performance at a lower cost. Additionally, Atul manages Suniva’s extensive intellectual property (IP) strategy.

Atul has over 15 years of research and product development experience with a unique multi-disciplinary background in Chemical engineering, Electronic materials and Electrical engineering. He holds two masters and a Ph.D. degree in these fields. Atul previously worked at Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) and Varian Semiconductor Equipment Associates (VSEA, recently acquired by Applied Materials) where he was the chief scientist, and responsible for enabling the adoption of ion implantation into solar; he worked jointly with Suniva and Georgia Institute of Technology on this effort. Atul has several publications (more recently in the field of solar cell manufacturing) and holds 18 issued patents in the field of semiconductor and solar cell manufacturing with numerous other applications pending at the USPTO.

Close -
Adam M. Payne

Adam M. Payne, Ph.D

Senior Scientist

As a Senior Scientist at Suniva, Adam is responsible for the development of n-type solar cells. Since joining Suniva in 2008, Adam has been instrumental in overseeing the construction and implementation of the Development Laboratory and has served as ...

Read More +

As a Senior Scientist at Suniva, Adam is responsible for the development of n-type solar cells. Since joining Suniva in 2008, Adam has been instrumental in overseeing the construction and implementation of the Development Laboratory and has served as liaison for joint research projects with Georgia Tech's University Center of Excellence for Photovoltaic Research and Education (UCEP). He also works closely with Suniva's manufacturing team on optimizing the refractive index of the anti-reflection coating of Suniva's solar cells.

Prior to his role at Suniva, Adam was a research scientist at Georgia Tech from 2003 until 2005 where he worked on GaN-based light emitting diodes and the use of InGaN as a photovoltaic material.  During 1999 - 2002, Adam worked at Aegis Semiconductor, a start-up company which produces tunable thin film filters for the optical communications market. He has published 10 papers on photovoltaics and holds four U.S. patents.

Adam received his B.S. from Yale University in applied physics. He spent an additional year at the University of Cambridge, where he read for an M.Phil in microelectronic engineering and semiconductor physics. Adam received his Ph.D. from Princeton University in electrical engineering. His doctoral thesis researched amorphous silicon-germanium alloys for solar cells, as well as using dicholorosilane as an alternative source gas for a-Si:H. While affiliated with the Princeton Environmental Institute (1997-2002), Adam worked on estimating the long-term costs of solar cells as well as analyzing the impact of net metering on the geographic distribution of photovoltaics in the U.S. After receiving his Ph.D., Adam was an STA International Research Fellow at the Electrotechnical Laboratory in Tsukuba, Japan, where he worked on plasma-enhanced CVD of a-Si:H.

Selected Papers:

InGaN- A New Solar Cell Material
The Effect of Chlorine On Dopant Activation in Hydrogenated Amorphous Silicon
Accelerating Residential PV Expansion: Demand Analysis for Competitive Electricity Markets

Close -
Vijay Yelundur

Vijay Yelundur, Ph.D.

Senior Engineer

Dr. Vijay Yelundur is a Senior Engineer in Suniva's Research and Development. His current area of research is the design, fabrication and characterization of high-efficiency solar cells on Czochralski silicon wafers. Vijay is further instrumental in the development ...

Read More +

Dr. Vijay Yelundur is a Senior Engineer in Suniva's Research and Development. His current area of research is the design, fabrication and characterization of high-efficiency solar cells on Czochralski silicon wafers. Vijay is further instrumental in the development of 20%-efficiency cells as part of Suniva's technology roadmap.

Vijay comes to Suniva from the Georgia Institute of Technology, where he received his B.S. and Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering. Vijay also worked with Suniva Founder and CTO, Dr. Ajeet Rohatgi, at Georgia Tech's University Center of Excellence for Photovoltaic Research and Education (UCEP).  At UCEP, Vijay was a Senior Research Engineer, working on the optimization of silicon solar cell performance via rapid thermal processing, among other research projects.  He is the author of more than 30 papers in crystalline silicon photovoltaics.

Selected Papers:

Improved String Ribbon Silicon Solar Cell Performance by Rapid Thermal Firing of Screen-Printed Contacts
Al-Enhanced PECVD SiNx Induced HydrogenPassivation in String Ribbon Silicon

Close -
Vinodh Chandrasekaran

Vinodh Chandrasekaran, M.S.

Senior Engineer

As a senior engineer in Research and Development at Suniva, Vinodh is primarily responsible for development of contacts to advanced cell structures. He also focuses on improved surface passivation and development of high-efficiency n-type cells. Vinodh has ...

Read More +

As a senior engineer in Research and Development at Suniva, Vinodh is primarily responsible for development of contacts to advanced cell structures. He also focuses on improved surface passivation and development of high-efficiency n-type cells.  Vinodh has been instrumental in the development and transfer of technology from the lab, achieving the fastest ramp-up in solar manufacturing with cell efficiency levels of more than 18% in production and 20% in the development lab.

Prior to joining Suniva, Vinodh was with Solar Power Industries (SPI), where he worked on the development and manufacturing of multicrystalline silicon solar cells. His main focus was on process development and optimization, along with diagnosis and characterization.  Before his work as a cell processing engineer, Vinodh was responsible for bringing the wire saw process into the production of wafers from ingots cast in-house at SPI. He was also involved in the production of multicrystalline ingot growth.

Vinodh received his MSEE from the University of South Florida, specializing in thin film photovoltaics.  His thesis focus was on improving performance and development of manufacture-friendly processes for thin film CIGS solar cells. Vinodh received his B.E. in Electronics and Communication Engineering from the University of Madras, India.

Selected Papers:

Determining Components of Series Resistance from Measurements on a Finished Cell

Close -
Ii Wang

Yi Wang

Scientist

Yi is the latest addition to Suniva's research and development group. His primary responsibilities include design, fabrication, characterization and analysis of high efficiency and low cost Si solar cells as well as new technologies for integrating cells into modules...

Read More +

Yi is the latest addition to Suniva's research and development group. His primary responsibilities include design, fabrication, characterization and analysis of high efficiency and low cost Si solar cells as well as new technologies for integrating cells into modules.

Yi brings a new set of skills and expertise through his dissertation research focused on the design, fabrication and characterization of mono-crystalline Si:Ge solar cells which is a part of High Efficiency Solar Cell Project funded by DARPA. This Si:Ge solar cell was designed to absorb long wavelength photons transparent to the mono-crystalline Si solar cell. He received his Ph.D. degree from the solar power group at University of Delaware in 2011 under the guidance of Dr. Allen Barnett. Yi received his B.S. from Zhejiang University in Electrical Engineering at 2005 and has worked as a process engineer in the department of soldering mask at Advanced Semiconductor Incorporation prior to coming to the US for his graduate work.

Close -