Electrical and Computer Engineering ETDs

Publication Date

Spring 5-13-2023


Silicon heterojunction solar cell of Heterojunction with Thin Intrinsic Layer (HIT) structure is a commercially available technology, and its market share will significantly increase by the next decade. With such a significant market share, any minor improvement in the device’s overall efficiency can be beneficial three folds - customer return on investment, industry revenue, and the overall carbon footprint (from manufacturing to recycling/ disposing of the device). Conventionally, device optimization for solar cells has been achieved using a hit & trial approach where multiple experiments are done to evaluate the best process conditions and device parameters. This approach has some inherent disadvantages, especially, because it is expensive in terms of resources, time, and manpower required. In the past couple of decades, simulation techniques are also being utilized in addition to the conventional approaches and very recently use of data science-based techniques has become popular in research and is gaining some traction in the photovoltaics industry. In this doctoral research, an innovative approach is presented, where device simulations for solar cells are designed and calibrated to match the performance of an industrially manufactured device using a minimal set of measurement data. Then a digital twin for the numerical simulations is developed by training Machine Learning (ML) models using simulation and measurement data. ML methods are also used for the calibration of simulation models in addition to being used for the digital twin. The use of machine learning helps significantly reduce computational time to prototype any design changes in the device. In our work, apart from providing mean predictions, we are also providing a measure of uncertainty with every prediction, using Gaussian Process Regression (GPR).


Photovoltaics Machine Learning Data engineering solar cell Renewable energy TCAD Sentaurus Numerical simulation Characterization

Document Type




Degree Name

Electrical Engineering

Level of Degree


Department Name

Electrical and Computer Engineering

First Committee Member (Chair)

Tito Busani

Second Committee Member

Manel Martínez-Raḿon

Third Committee Member

Ganesh Balakrishnan

Fourth Committee Member

Gowtham Mohan

Fifth Committee Member

Fabrizio Bizzarri