Pennergy Seminar: Supratik Guha
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Event Date: 
Mon, 05/02/2011 - 12:00pm
Towne 337

Supratik Guha  Director, Physical Sciences Department, IBM Thomas J. Watson Research Center (Yorktown Heights, NY)


Materials & Devices for Energy Efficiency: Implications for Logic and Energy Conversion Technologies

Energy efficiency is a a singular challenge for future (and present) computing technologies.  I will give a brief overview of physical sciences research at IBM, touching upon 3 projects in this area: (i) the thermal physics of datacenters, (ii) CMOS integrated silicon photonics for energy efficient interconnects, and (iii) carbon nanotube transistors as a drop-in replacement for Si MOSFETs for the 5 nm node technology.  Rather than a physics practitioner immersed in these individual fields, I will offer the perspective of a technology customer who will describe where we are and what needs to happen.  I will then move to the area of energy conversion devices, a research topic revisited at IBM after a hiatus, and describe our research on silicon nanowire and earth abundant thin film solar cells.  Nanowire solar cells, while demonstrating higher light absorption and even slightly higher efficiencies compared to their planar counterparts, have so far not demonstrated any significant advantage with respect to their potential—I will present data and discuss the  reasons behind this.  The work on earth abundant thin films has been promising, and I will describe solar results from vacuum deposited films of Cu2ZnSn(S,Se)4, an emerging material that may turn out to be a viable alternative to CIGS and CdTe without the toxicity and availability issues that are associated with them.


Supratik Guha received his Ph.D. in Materials Science from the University of Southern California in 1991, and his B. Tech from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur (India) in 1985. He is presently the Director of the Physical Sciences Department at IBM Research, where he has been since 1995. During his time at IBM he has worked on new materials for silicon microelectronics, specifically, high-k oxide-metal gate technology. More recently, he has been responsible for establishing IBM's research programs in the areas of photovoltaics, and semiconductor nanowires. He additionally holds management responsibilites for programs in the thermal physics of datacenters, and silicon based nanophotonics. His research interests are in new semiconductors and oxides for logic, and energy conversion applications. Supratik is also currently an adjunct professor of materials science at Columbia University. He is a Fellow of the American Physical Society.