Friedman, manager of the lab’s High Efficiency Crystalline Photovoltaics Group, joined NREL 28 years ago and the American Physical Society (APS) two years before that. His work at NREL has centered on improving the efficiency of photovoltaic technology by developing multijunction solar cells, including using highly efficient materials from the third and fifth columns of the periodic table of elements.
APS, a nonprofit organization based in College Park, MD, represents more than 55,000 members on its mission to advance the knowledge of physics. Roger Falcone, president of APS, wrote in a letter to Friedman: “The number of APS Fellows elected each year is limited to no more than one half of 1% of the membership. It is a prestigious recognition by your peers of your outstanding contributions to physics.”
The citation that appears on Friedman’s fellowship certificate praises him “For outstanding contributions in the field of III-V semiconductor physics and multijunction photovoltaic science and groundbreaking work in the materials physics of ordering in III-V alloys and optics and device physics for novel structures and record solar conversion efficiencies.”
“I am very appreciative of the honor,” said Friedman, who earned his doctorate in applied physics from Stanford University in 1987. “I was fortunate to have great mentors: my former NREL colleagues Jerry Olson and Sarah Kurtz.”
Friedman, Olson and Kurtz were honored with an R&D 100 Award in 2012 for their record-breaking, triple-junction solar cell.
Friedman is only the fourth person in the 41-year history of NREL to be named an APS fellow. The others were Lawrence Kazmarski in 1987, Howard Branz in 2012, and Matthew Beard in 2013.