Mark T. Winkler

Brief Bio :

My research explores new materials and the experimental science they require, guided by the goal of enabling the sustainable capture, conversion, storage, and utilization of energy. I am particularly interested in problems that highly impact the economic global deployment of solar photovoltaics. My technical expertise is broadly in materials, and specifically spans laser processing, electronic transport, optical/IR spectroscopy, PV-device fabrication, and cleanroom microfabrication. I enjoy and am comfortable working in multidisciplinary collaborations that bring together researchers from traditionally different fields, a fact strongly reflected in my publication record. I am also an enthusiastic and effective teacher, awarded the White Prize for Teaching Excellence for my teaching at Harvard, and serving as a resident tutor in Harvard College for three years.Trained as both a physicist and an engineer, I emphasize fundamental research that can be transferred into industry. I have authored multiple patents, several of which are licensed in the semiconductor device industry. I am interested in the challenge of converting research and technology into global infrastructure, and make a habit of seeing how this is done at both traditional (coal, gas, nuclear) and alternative (wind, solar) energy generation installations.


Selected publications:

“Insulator-to-metal transition in sulfur-doped silicon”
MT Winkler, D Recht, M Sher, AJ Said, E Mazur, MJ Aziz; Physical Review Letters 106(2011)
Context: Selected as an Editor’s Suggestion , this Letter describes a fundamental electronic phase transition in sulfur-doped silicon. This phase transition, from insulating to metallic, has been predicted as necessary for realizing a next-generation solar cell concept known as the intermediate band photovoltaic effect.

“Pulsed-laser hyperdoping and surface texturing for photovoltaics”
M Sher*, MT Winkler*, E Mazur; MRS Bulletin 36 (2011)
Context: This paper reviews the use of ultrashort laser pulses in modifying the physical and optical properties of crystalline silicon. The laser pulses, only femtoseconds in duration, have a uniquely high power density and are capable of creating new phases of matter with desirable properties for advanced solar cell devices.
*Equal contribution

“Light-induced water oxidation at silicon electrodes functionalized with a cobalt oxygen-evolving catalyst”
JJH Pijpers, MT Winkler, Y Surendranatha, T Buonassisi, DG Nocera; Proc. Nat. Academy of Sciences 108 (2011)
Context: Storable hydrogen-based fuel can be generated by splitting water. In this experiment, we built a silicon solar cell that can directly power a water-splitting chemical reaction. Although they are the work-horse of the solar industry, silicon solar cells cannot typically be integrated with water-splitting due to the harsh chemical environment that is typically present. We circumvented this problem by integrating new catalysts (developed by the Nocera group at MIT) that function in benign conditions into a traditional silicon device fabrication process.

“Putting the cost of going green in context”
K.Z. House, B. Urquhart, MT Winkler; Bulletin of the Atomic Scientist (2009)
Context: This column is a quantitative examination of several “Big Plans” for decarbonizing the energy grid, calculating their cost in capital and resource expenditures relative to other major national projects such as building the highway system and fighting major wars. The article was entered into the Congressional Record as part of the debate on carbon legislation.

Post-doctoral researcher, MIT PV Lab
Ph.D. in Physics, Harvard University (2009)

mwinkler AT mit DOT edu
77 Massachusetts Ave Rm 35-211
Cambridge, MA 02139

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