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  • Organization
    Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

  • Employment Type
    University / College Faculty

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  • Biography

    Tonio Buonassisi is author of over 110 journal, conference, and workshop articles focused on photovoltaics. He received his Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley in 2006, where he developed some of the initial IP that founded the solar start-up Calisolar (now Silicorp). During his Ph.D., he was a visiting researcher at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems (ISE) and the Max-Planck Institute for Microstructure Physics. Following his degree, he became a crystal growth research scientist at Evergreen Solar. In 2007, Tonio joined the MIT Mechanical Engineering department; he is now an associate professor. Tonio leads the MIT Photovoltaics Laboratory (MIT PVLab), where researchers develop foundational PV technologies and transfer them into industry. The PVLab’s core strengths include PV device & materials development, including laboratory- and synchrotron-based characterization techniques; and process (kinetic) simulation of materials, including bulk impurities and extended defects (dislocations, grain boundaries). Leveraging domain expertise in crystalline silicon, the PVLab launched a parallel research track to accelerate the development of Earth-abundant thin-film compounds. In 2008, Tonio co-founded the Fraunhofer Center for Sustainable Energy Systems in Cambridge, MA, which is now an independent research center employing over forty cleantech professionals. In 2012, he received an NSF CAREER award.

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