Bill McMahon
1990 …2024

Research Activity per Year


Personal Profile

Bill McMahon has conducted research at NREL for more than 25 years.  During this time, he has performed foundational research on a wide range of topics impacting the growth, fabrication, and performance of high-efficiency III‑V solar cells. As a postdoctoral researcher, he studied the atomic structure of MOCVD-prepared semiconductor surfaces used in III‑V growth on silicon and germanium surfaces.  His research into the atomic structure of dislocations explained how ordering of III-V alloys can increase the glide force on dislocations, impacting the growth of lattice-mismatched solar cells.  He has also led investigations into cell bonding, nano-imprinted optical coatings, distributed resistance modeling of 3-D current flow in multijunction solar cells, and energy-yield measurement and modeling. 

Research Interests

Developing foundational knowledge for the design, characterization and measurement of three-terminal solar cells and voltage-matched strings

Using a fundamental understanding of dislocation formation in coalescing materials to direct projects investigating III-V growth on inexpensive and reusable substrates


Education/Academic Qualification

Bachelor, Engineering Physics, Colorado School of Mines

PhD, Physics, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Master, Physics, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign


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Collaborations and Top Research Areas From the Past 5 Years

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