Photovoltaics and Solar Energy Technology

Students get knowledge of underlying physical principals and material science aspects of photovoltaics, technology and metrology of solar modules, equipment, design, and maintenance of solar power plants.

 Program presentation

 Program booklet

Special attention is dedicated to Silicon photovoltaics, including the most efficient HIT (Heterojunction with Intrinsic Thin layer) structures.

The program consists of advanced professional studies, elective courses, and a Master’s Thesis.

Program curriculum includes the following advanced courses:

  • Fundamentals of solid state physics
  • Fundamentals of Photovoltaics
  • Computer Simulation in Electronics
  • Microelectronic technology
  • Metrology of photovoltaic cells and modules
  • Diagnostics of materials and structures in microelectronics and photovoltaics
  • Optical and spectroscopic methods of diagnostics in photovoltaics
  • Technology of silicon solar modules
  • Laser technologies and processing in manufacturing of solar modules
  • Microprocessors and microcontrollers
  • Equipment and automation of solar power plants


Students have access to the most modern and sophisticated technological and metrological equipment for solar modules production and testing at the Research and Development Center for Thin-film Technologies in Energetic under Ioffe Institute. Using these facilities they carry out scientific research and get skills of practical work with real metrological instruments and technological apparatuses.


In 2015 program “Photovoltaics and Solar Energy Technology” successfully underwent general assessment and was awarded EUR-ACE® label by ENAEE - European Network for Accreditation of Engineering Education. 

Department of Quantum Electronics and Optoelectronic Devices is one of the oldest and the most renowned departments in the University. It was established in 1931, more than 80 years ago. The research activity of the Department is focused on semiconductor and thermoelectric photodetectors, infrared systems, lasers and laser technologies, optoelectronic devices for remote sensing and photovoltaics. Many outstanding Russian scientists and engineers graduated from the Department of Quantum Electronics and Optoelectronic Devices. The most renowned of the Department’s alumni is the laureate of the Nobel Prize in Physics (2000) Prof. Zhores Alferov, who started his brilliant scientific career in the laboratories of the Department.


Main courses

History and Methodology of Electronics

The course “History and Methodology of Electronics” gives an overview of the history and methodology of electronics from the pre-electronic times up to the modern era. The course gives a representation of the problems that the pioneers of the electronics faced and theoretical underpinning for understanding which methods was applied for solving the particular problem. The course, in particular, describes the contributions made by the experimenters and the general research strategy that outlines the way in which research is to be undertaken and, among other things, identifies the methods to be used in it. After all, it provides a fascinating look at the industry that has had one of the greatest effects on modern life than any other scientific discovery in history.


Fundamentals of Solid State Physics

The course “Fundamentals of Solid State Physics” includes main branches of Condensed Matter Physics and Solid State Optics. The main points of the theory of electronic spectra of solids are discussed, along with the basics of the theory of radiation interaction with matter. The light absorption and other physical phenomena which determine the optical properties of crystalline and disordered semiconductors are considered. The special attention is paid to the physical interpretation of studied phenomena, theoretical descriptions, and the most important experimental facts.


Fundamentals of Photovoltaics

The course “Fundamentals of Photovoltaics” deals with physics and technologies of solar modules. It includes the study of the physical foundations of photovoltaic solar energy converters, characteristics of the materials used for their production, principles of modeling of solar cells and advanced production technologies aimed at improving the efficiency of solar energy converters.


Computer Simulation in Electronics

The course “Computer Simulation in Electronics” considers the number of modern software packages that can be used to simulate electronic devices, such as Synopsys Sentaurus TCAD, FlexPDE, MathCAD etc. Using simulations of electronic devices allows to quickly find out the effects that various parameters of the devices cause on the overall performance of the electronic device and, hence, avoid some of the time-consuming and expensive operations.


Microelectronic Technology

The course “Microelectronic Technology” gives a deep understanding of materials deposition, etching and modifying methods at micro- and nanolevel which is used in solid-state electronics and integrated circuit components forming. The course considers the basic processes and equipment that are used in conventional microtechnology, as well as specific structure forming processes on molecular level that are based on the principles of self-organization, selectivity, anisotropy and matrices principles.


Metrology of Photovoltaic Cells and Modules

The course “Metrology of Photovoltaic Cells and Modules” covers the entire process of the metrology of photovoltaic cells and modules, starting from the sunlight and its characteristics, where the sunlight characteristics and methods of indoor light parameters modeling and quality monitoring of parameters of sunlight is considered. The reference solar cells, their design and ways of their calibration with the spectral characteristics of solar cells are discussed. The techniques and the equipment for spectral characteristics measurement of thin-film solar cells, including multijunction cells are described. The special attention is paid to the current-voltage characteristics of solar cells and the techniques and equipment for measurement of the current-voltage characteristics of solar cells and solar modules.


Diagnostics of Materials and Structures in Microelectronics and Photovoltaics

The course "Diagnostics of Materials and Structures in Microelectronics and Photovoltaics" is devoted to modern techniques and methods of diagnostics and characterization of materials and structures in microelectronics and photovoltaics. The main techniques used within the microelectronics and photovoltaics are explained. In particular, the course is focused on the most widely used techniques such as charge-based and probe methods, as well as chemical and physical methods.


Optical and Spectroscopic Methods of Diagnostics in Photovoltaics

The course “Optical and Spectroscopic Methods of Diagnostics in Photovoltaics” covers the basic optical and spectroscopic methods, techniques and equipment such as light photometry, UV/Vis spectrometry, Fourier transform Infrared Spectrometry, Raman spectroscopy, ellipsometry and interferometry, which are widely used in the diagnostics of materials and thin film structures of solar photovoltaics. The course also includes an introductory part dedicated to the fundamentals of geometrical and wave optics.


Technology of Silicon Solar Modules

The course “Technology of Silicon Solar Modules” considers the basics and main steps of silicon thin-film solar modules production, including the substrate choice and preparation procedure, deposition processes of transparent conductive ZnO layer and photoactive silicon layers, laser scribing and back-end processes. The special attention is paid to the high-tech equipment used in silicon-based thin-film solar modules production.


Laser Technologies and Processing in Manufacturing of Solar Modules

The course “Laser Technologies and Processing in Manufacturing of Solar Modules” deals with the fundamentals of laser technologies and architecture of industrial lasers. The requirements for lasers for materials microprocessing are analyzed and the main output lasers parameters and features of operation are given. Applications of lasers for industrial processing of materials (mainly in microelectronics) are described. The special part is dedicated to the use of lasers in manufacturing the thin-film solar panels.


Microprocessors and Microcontrollers

The course “Microprocessors and microcontrollers” concentrates on learning of the modern microprocessor families, microcontroller devices construction principles and microprocessor devices programming. While studying students get knowledge about components of the microprocessor systems and learn how to use cross-compilers for the software development in C programming language. The special attention is paid to the modern high-efficiency ARM microcontroller and various input/output peripherals.


Equipment and Automation of Solar Power Plants

The course “Equipment and Automation of Solar Power Plants” is dedicated to study of the equipment of solar power stations, since the photovoltaic modules only represent the basic element of a solar power system and work always in conjunction with complementary components, such as batteries, inverters, and transformers, and the power distribution panels and metering complete the energy conversion process.


The programme is offered by the Department of Quantum and Optical Electronics

Programme Director: Assoc. Prof. Tarasov S.A., Head of the Department of Quantum and Optical Electronics

Programme Coordinator: Asst. Prof. Pukhova V., Department of Quantum and Optical Electronics


Contact us

For support in registration, accommodations or any questions about the admission process, please contact International Students Office

For questions regarding programme content, please contact the programme coordinators Konoplev G. or Pukhova V.