Dr. Howard Branz
Dr. Howard Branz currently serves as a Program Director at the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E). His focus at ARPA-E includes advanced solar energy, building efficiency, and industrial efficiency.
Branz is on assignment from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), where he is a Research Fellow in the National Center for Photovoltaics. At NREL Branz has studied the materials science and optical and electronic properties of photovoltaic, electrochromic, memory-switching, and photoelectrochemical devices. Branz has also served as leader of NREL’s Amorphous Silicon Team, and the Silicon Materials and Devices Group. In 1998, Branz proposed and published the hydrogen collision model of light-induced metastable degradation in amorphous silicon. Branz also led the NREL team that developed hot-wire chemical vapor deposition process for silicon epitaxial silicon photovoltaics and helped launch the venture-funded Ampulse Corporation. In 2011, a team led by Branz developed a confirmed 18.2% efficient nanostructured black silicon solar cell. This black silicon technology is being commercialized by the startup, Natcore Technology. Branz has published 118 papers in refereed scientific journals and has about 20 U.S. patents issued or pending.
Dr. Branz received his B.A. in Physics from Brandeis University and his Ph. D. in Solid-State Physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he completed his thesis on hydrogenated amorphous silicon (a-Si:H) growth, transport physics, and devices. Branz is a Fellow of the American Physical Society.