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The opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed are those of the Center author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

Center Overview

The vision and long-term goal of SPF2050 is to enable the United States and the world to achieve a zero carbon footprint by 2050 using solar energy as a resource.

SPF2050 is catalyzing breakthrough pre-competitive research for the solar power industry by enabling close and sustained engagement between industry innovators, world-class academic teams, and government agencies. Higher performance and lower cost solar cells are needed. PV component and system reliability must be improved. At the end of their life, massive installations of solar cells will need to be recycled—a circular solar power economy must be created. Land-use becomes a major challenge and creative, new approaches to harvest solar energy are needed in both urban and rural environments. Sunlight’s intermittency and variability create a range of techno-economic and socio-economic challenges. Technologies are needed to store the energy. A solar-powered energy economy requires electrification and integration of the transportation and heating and cooling sectors. There are a range of interdisciplinary and multi-industry challenges.

SPF2050 is addressing these diverse, complex, multi-faceted technology challenges with PV electricity generation at the root of the problem. We still need better solar cells, but we also need complete photovoltaic and photovoltaic-integrated systems.


  • University of Texas, Austin
  • Colorado State University
  • Arizona State University
  • Texas A&M University, Central Texas
  • Texas A&M University
View Center Website

Center Personnel

Brian A Korgel
Center Director
+1 512 471 5633

W.S. Sampath
Center Associate Director, Site Co-Director
+1 970 430 8878

Jim Sites
Center Deputy Director, Site Co-Director
+1 970 491 6206

Robert Balog
Site Co-Director
+1 979 862 4985

Russell Porter
Site Co-Director
+1 254 501 5823

Yong-Hang Zhang
Site Director

Research Focus

SPF2050 research focuses on enabling higher performance and lower cost solar cells; improving reliability of PV components and systems; developing new, and effective ways to recycle end-of-life materials and devices; informing the creation of a circular solar power economy; developing creative, new approaches to land use in both rural and urban environments; integrating emerging storage technologies with solar power generation to alleviate problems of intermittency and variability; addressing techno-economic and socio-economic challenges; and identifying new approaches to solar powered electrification of transportation, heating and cooling sectors.

Our team is well equipped to pursue a diverse array of research projects, with facilities and equipment that encompasses all facets of PV research, fabrication, and characterization, including:

  1. manufacturing of all types of PV materials (CIGS, CdTe, Si, metal halide perovskites, transparent conductors, transport layers, packaging materials and coatings); balance of systems and power electronics; reliability and packaging;
  2. electron and specialized microscopy; spectroscopy, luminescence, X-ray and electron scattering characterization; electrochemistry and electronic transport studies; and
  3. socio-economic, techno-economic and big data research capabilities.


Member Organizations

IUCRC affiliated member organizations are displayed as submitted by the Center. Non-federal organizations are not selected, approved, or otherwise endorsed by the National Science Foundation.