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Dr. Xiaonan Li  


National Center for Photovoltaic             E-mail:  xiaonan_li@nrel.gov

National Renewable Energy Laboratory        Phone: 303-384-6428

1617 Cole Boulevard                      Fax;  303-384-7600

Golden, CO 80401


Career Interests

1.          Develop high quality transparent conducting oxides by physical and chemical vapor deposition.

2.          Fabrication the photovoltaic thin films devices: CdTe, a-Si, and CIGS thin film solar cells.

3.          Characterization the material properties: structure, electrical, and optical.



1985-1990         Colorado School of Mine, Golden, Colorado USA, Ph. D. degree in Applied Physics,

1982-1984         Wuhan University, Wuhan China, M.S. Study in Physics

1978-1982     Wuhan University, Wuhan China, B.S. in Physics,


Research Experience

Profession in electro-optic thin film deposition, material property characterization, photovotic device processing, and performance characterization.

1.          InP/ITO space solar cell fabrication. Sputtering, photolithograph, metal contact formation, and anti-reflection coating.

2.          Fabricating a thermal photovoltaic (TPV) emitter.

3.          II-VI group elements material properties investigating. CdTe thin film solar cell procedures development and device-fabrication. Sputtering, Close Space Sublimation, Chemical bath deposition (CBD), thermal annealing, surface treatment, and back contact formation.

4.          Building a chemical vapor deposition facility and developing procedures for a high quality SnO2 thin film used by CdTe thin film solar cell.

5.          Developing the alternative transparent conducting oxides (TCO) for thin film photovoltaic devices. Combinatorial study on Sn2O, CdO, ZnO, Ga2O3, MgO, Cd2SnO4, Zn2SnO4, Zn1-xMgxO, and Sn1-xZrxO.

6.          Pioneers the p-type ZnO research work by using MOCVD and nitrogen dopant. Fabricate the p-type transparent conducting oxides and transparent p-n junction.

7.          Industry collaboration on SnO2:F development.

8.          Developing the more stable TCO for the ZnO:Al /Cu(In, Ga)Se2 solar cell stability issue.



Over 90 publications and presentations (see attached list).



1.     X. Li and P. Sheldon, “Temperature Profiles of Close-Spaced Sublimation Deposited Thin-Film CdTe.” U.S. Patent No. 5,712,187.

2.     X. Li, Y. Yan, T. Gessert, T. Coutts, and C. Dehart, “Method for producing p-type ZnO thin films with NO gas.” (pending).

3.     X. Li and Tim Gessert, “Transparent Conducting Oxide Thin Film Fabricated by Metal Organic Chemical Vapor Deposition.” Patent application is proceeding.


Recent Presentations and Invited Talk

1.          Oral presentation in 4th International Workshop on ZnO and Related Materials, “Nitrogen doping effect to ZnO thin film.” Oct. 3-6, 2006, Giessen, Germany.

2.          Invited Talk in Institute for Physical Research (IPR) of National Academy of Sciences of Armenia “Doping and Compensation Effects of Nitrogen and Carbon to ZnO:N Thin Film” Oct. 12, 2006 Armenia.

3.          Invited Talk at PPG Industries Inc., “Thin Film Solar Cell, Glass, and SnO2”, October 24, 2007 Pittsburg, PA.

4.          Invited Talk at Headquarter of Chinese Academy of Science, “Thin Film Solar Cell”, May 6, 2008, Beijing China.


Professional Collaborations

1.     US Principal Investigator. Collaboration with IPR of National Academy of Sciences of Armenia on a project “Development of P-type Transparent Conducting Zinc Oxide Thin Films and p-n Homojunctions by Sol-gel Method for Photovoltaics and Optoelectrinics” supported by U.S. Civilian Research and Development Foundation.

2.          National Laboratory Principal Investigator. Collaborate with Miami University Oxford, Ohio on a project “Defect Chemistry Study of Nitrogen Doped ZnO Thin Films” supported by U.S. Army Research Office.

3.          US Project Manager on a memorandum of understanding between NREL and Chinese Academy of Science on multiple projects, such as implementing a world-accredit measurement center for solar industry, which will the first one in China.


Professional Services and Memberships

1. Services as a Committee member for conference, like OPTOmism Conference and Exhibition: Photonics for the Green Revolution.

2.       Reviewer for more than ten journals:

       Applied Physical Letters, Applied Physics B, Physica B, Journal of Applied Physics, Journal of Material Research, Thin Solid Films, Journal of Crystal Growth, physica staturs solidi, Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells, Superlattices and Microstructures, Applied Surface Science.

3. Member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc. (IEEE), and Materials Research Society (MRS).

4.          Appointed as a adjunct faculty to Institute of Electrical Engineering Chinese Academy of Sciences



       World record holder for ITO/InP space solar cells. Device had been flown (and still) on the NASA’s satellite.




Prof  Jianping Zheng 




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