Cover photo for Yuan-Min Li's Obituary
Yuan-Min Li Profile Photo

Yuan-Min Li

October 11, 1958 — June 9, 2019

With great sorrow, we share this sad news: our beloved husband and father Yuan-Min Li completed his life's journey and passed away at Princeton Medical Center on the morning of June 9th, 2019, after battling advanced cancer for months.
Words cannot express the deep pain and emptiness we feel from this great loss. Besides being an extraordinary man with all his accomplishment in photovoltaics, Yuan-Min was a loving husband and father, the most reliable and trustworthy friend, and our mentor and soulmate.
He told us just days before his departure, that he was to start a new journey, a journey of love. We know he is now free of pain, and we send love from all of us, wherever he is!
Xiaoping Zhang, Dan Lee & Ken Lee; Residents of Princeton Township since 2004
We are sad to announce that Dr. Yuanmin Li, our chief scientist and the co-CTO of Hanergy Thin Film Power Group, passed away on June 9th, 2019 in Princeton, NJ, USA, at the age of sixty.
Dr. Yuanmin Li was born in Beijing on October 11th, 1958. He graduated from the Department of Modern Physics, the University of Science and Technology of China in 1982. He obtained his master's degree in physics and Ph.D. in applied physics from Harvard University, in 1984 and 1989, respectively. During his graduate study, he worked as a teaching assistant at the Department of Applied Physics and then a lecturer at the Department of Applied Mathematics. After graduation, he held a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Applied Physics at Harvard University for one year. His industrial career in photovoltaics started in 1990. He had been working in numerous prodigious PV companies such as Solarex, BP Solar, AmPro Corporation, Energy Photovoltaics Inc., Terra Solar Inc., Renewable Energy Solutions Inc., and GS-Solar (Fujian) Energy, Co., Ltd., as senior scientist, process director, technical director, R&D VP, co-CTO, co-founder, and president. He also was an active member of thin-film partnership program of the Department of Energy, USA. Dr. Yuanmin Li joined Hanergy in 2010 as a vice chairman and co-CTO of Hanergy Thin Film Power Group, Ltd.
Dr. Li devoted his entire career in developing thin-film photovoltaic materials and technologies from hydrogenated amorphous Si and its alloys, nano-crystalline Si, CIGS, perovskite, single and multijunction solar cells and thin-film modules. For more than 30 years, his expertise covered the deposition and characterization of thin-film materials, design, synthesis, analysis, and optimization of photovoltaic devices, manufacturing of large-area photovoltaic modules, displays, optoelectronic devices and materials. He has accomplished a number of silicon-based thin-film solar cell records: first ever single-junction hydrogenated amorphous silicon (a-Si:H) solar cell with the open-circuit voltage (VOC) exceeding 1.0V; especially wide band-gap hydrogenated amorphous silicon carbide (a-SiC:H) materials and its solar cell with VOC reaching 1.03V (world record at that time); greater than 8% conversion efficiency of a high performance nano-crystalline silicon solar cells deposited by a single-chamber radio-frequency plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition (RF-PECVD); the first stable efficiency greater than
9% obtained by double-junction amorphous silicon/amorphous silicon germanium solar module on 1 m2 glass substrate with initial efficiency above 11%; the DC discharge asymmetric etching for large-area nano-crystalline silicon deposition; single-chamber large-area multi-junction thin-film silicon photovoltaic module production with highest stable conversion efficiency at lowest cost.
During his career, he had filed more than 100 patents both in China and abroad, nearly 40 have been granted; published 67 papers in academic journals and international conferences.
During his Hanergy times starting from 2010, Dr. Li has done remarkable performance in both R&D and mass production of hydrogenated amorphous silicon alloys, CIGS, silicon heterojunction (SHJ), and perovskite technologies, etc. As the leader of the Hanergy Chengdu R&D Center from November of 2011, Dr. Li had made many breakthroughs in mass production of hydrogenated amorphous silicon germanium tandem solar modules, BIPV, agricultural greenhouse application, and amorphous/nano-microcrystalline silicon thin-film tandem solar cell technologies. In particular, the successful application of silicon-based alloy thin films to high-efficiency SHJ solar cells has produced the record cell efficiency in full-6-inch wafer in China in 2018, and the record cell was made from the pilot production line.
Dr. Li was diligent, hard-working, and eager to learn and sensitive to new technologies. Dr. Li actively promoted research on perovskite solar cell technology and played a key role in establishing a team in Chengdu R&D Center in June 2018. Promising progress has been made in large-area perovskite solar cell and perovskite/SHJ tandem solar cell developments.
Dr. Yuanmin Li, as a leading scientist with numerous outstanding contributions in thin-film photovoltaics, an excellent leader and beloved mentor to young engineers and researchers, a dear friend and colleague, will be long remembered. The passing away of Dr. Yuanmin Li is a great loss to his family, his friends, and colleagues, and the PV communities. However, Dr. Li's vision and passion of PV, his dedication, work ethic, focus, and no-nonsense leadership will inspire us to strive for greater progress in PV technology and industry.
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