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CAMP June Newsletter:Page 7

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Clarkson University Pioneering Research on Solar Cell Modeling


The Institute of Physics (IOP) has included a paper authored by a Clarkson  University research team in its “IOP select” collection. The paper is coauthored by Clarkson University Electrical & Computer Engineering Ph.D. students Kun Zhang (ECE), not pictured, and Wangkun Jia (ECE), left, back row and Professors Jack Koplowitz (ECE), foreground, Piergiovanni Marzocca(Mechanical & Aeronautical Engineering), right, back row and Ming-Cheng Cheng (ECE), center.

The Institute of Physics (IOP), one of the largest physics societies, has chosen a research paper on solar cell modeling developed by a Clarkson University team to include in its "IOP Select" collection. 

The work is coauthored by Clarkson Electrical & Computer Engineering Associate Professors Ming-Cheng Cheng and Jack Koplowitz, Mechanical & Aeronautical Engineering Associate Professor Piergiovanni Marzocca and Electrical & Computer Engineering Ph.D. students Kun Zhang and Wangkun Jia. (Zhang has since graduated and works with the Sendyne Corporation in New York City.)

The paper, "Modeling of Photovoltaic Cells and Arrays Based on Singular Value Decomposition" was published in the IOP journal of Semiconductor Science and Technology, March 2013.

Founded in 1874, IOP is a worldwide leading communicator and publishing organization with more than 50,000 members, publishing 60 journals read in more than 180 countries. IOP Select is a special collection of articles chosen from IOP Publishing's research journals.

Following a peer-review process, IOP’s editors-in-chief and honorary editors choose articles for the collection based on one of several criteria, according to the IOP’s Website. The articles must share substantial advances or significant breakthroughs, demonstrate innovation or have a significant impact and influence on future research.

Professor Cheng led the research, discovering a new application for the mathematical method of Singular Value Decomposition (SVD), traditionally applied to data and signal processing, to model and predict a solar cell’s physical behavior. He said the novel method of modeling is simpler than traditional models and he believes it can lead to greater insight in developing new applications for the SVD method.

"It’s a new approach," Cheng said. “It’s simple and works really well."

One IOP peer reviewer said the Clarkson study "… may be considered a pioneer work, offering new and efficient ways to respond to actual needs in the field."

The paper is available to all readers free of charge for one year at