Fundamentals of Photovoltaics

Cross-section schematic diagram of photovoltaic cell, showing different layers and the electron-hole pair.

A cross-section view of a generic solar cell. (Courtesy of PVCDROM. Used with permission.)


MIT Course Number

2.627 / 2.626

As Taught In

Fall 2013


Undergraduate / Graduate

Cite This Course

Course Features

Course Description

Fundamentals of photoelectric conversion: charge excitation, conduction, separation, and collection. Lectures cover commercial and emerging photovoltaic technologies and cross-cutting themes, including conversion efficiencies, loss mechanisms, characterization, manufacturing, systems, reliability, life-cycle analysis, risk analysis, and technology evolution in the context of markets, policies, society, and environment.

This course is one of many OCW Energy Courses, and it is an elective subject in MIT's undergraduate Energy Studies Minor. This Institute–wide program complements the deep expertise obtained in any major with a broad understanding of the interlinked realms of science, technology, and social sciences as they relate to energy and associated environmental challenges.

Tonio Buonassisi. 2.627 Fundamentals of Photovoltaics, Fall 2013. (Massachusetts Institute of Technology: MIT OpenCourseWare), (Accessed). License: Creative Commons BY-NC-SA

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