Sumit Agarwal’s Research 

My research interests are focused on the synthesis and characterization of solar and electronic materials. A significant part of our focus is on plasma-assisted materials processing to achieve atomic scale control over growth and removal of materials to enable the fabrication of next-generation devices. Future electronic devices or solar cells will consist of few-atom-thick sequential layers of metals, dielectrics, and semiconductors that can be as thin as 1.5–2.0 nm. In addition, in semiconductor devices, these layers will be grown or removed selectively using atomic layer deposition or etching to fabricate nanoscale device structures. Achieving this degree of atomic scale control in materials processing necessitates novel surface chemistries and techniques for measuring the chemical composition, microstructure, and the electrical and transport properties. Our research takes a fundamental approach where we use advanced characterization tools to understand interfacial phenomena, and surface and bulk defects in solar and electronic materials. Our group actively collaborates with the semiconductor industry and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL).

Sumit Agarwal was named a 2020 AVS Fellow, a professional society that focuses on the science and technology of materials, interfaces and processing. 

More information about Dr. Agarwal can be found on his faculty page.


To learn more about Dr. Agarwal’s research group, visit his Google Citations Page.

“Working in Dr. Agarwal’s group I’ve had the unique experience to do most of my research at NREL, specializing in degradation mechanisms for silicon solar cells. It’s been an amazing experience, I work with some of the brightest minds in the solar cell world and have wonderful advisors and research groups that push me to be better every day.”

Abigail Meyer

“Working with Dr. Agarwal’s group provides an awesome grad school experience that perfectly blends fundamental surface science at the atomic scale with wide ranging industrial applications. We collaborate with various industry partners that provide wonderful insight as well as state of the art equipment. Working in this lab provides an amazing blend of theoretical work, modelling, various process research, and the opportunity to build and operate a one of a kind reactor. I look forward to working on Mondays as much as I do relaxing on Fridays.”

Ryan Gasvoda

Lab Tour Video

Poster Presentation