Paolo Rava's biography
From October 1975 to October 1976 he attended a course in Solid State Physics at the University of London (Bedford College). In November 1976 he obtained the degree of Master of Science in Solid State Physics with a thesis entitled "Measurement of the velocity of sound by means of ultrasonic interferometer. Temperature dependence of the electronic mean free path in tungsten from ultrasonic attenuation measurements".
During 1976 he was assigned a Fullbright scholarship by the Institute of International Education to follow graduate studies in Physics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Cambridge, USA), which he started in October 1976. From January to June 1977 he had a teaching assistant assignment in the course of Semiconductor Electronics. From September 1977 to May 1981 he held a research assistant assignment in the Electronic Materials group of the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at M.I.T. During his stay at M.I.T. he attended many courses and workshops in general physics, solid state physics, materials science, electronic engineering and solar energy and he took the general examinations for the PhD course in Physics.
He carried out a research activity on the electrical and optical properties of crystalline semiconductors and in particular of silicon, gallium arsenide and indium phosphide. He developed a new experimental optical method for microanalysis of impurities in semiconductors and he applied this method to the study of the spatial microdistribution of the free carrier concentration in GaAs and InP and of the oxygen concentration in Si; the results obtained were applied to the study of the relationship between spatial microdistribution of impurities in semiconductors and conversion efficiency of photovoltaic solar cells.
In June 1981 he obtained the PhD degree in Physics with a thesis entitled "Microdistribution of impurities in semiconductors and its influence on photovoltaic energy conversion".
From January 1982 to September 1983 he worked as a researcher at the company Heliosil in Milano, Italy. He contributed to the development of new methods for growth of polycrystalline silicon for photovoltaic solar cells, aimed at obtaining a "solar grade" silicon with relatively low impurity concentration starting from feedstock material with high impurity concentration.
Since September 1983 he has been working with the company Elettrorava in Torino as responsible of the R&D department. He contributed to the optimization of the performance of turbomolecular high vacuum pumps. He started a project which led to the development of new multichamber PECVD systems particularly suitable for the deposition of amorphous silicon thin film materials and devices. He has led research projects aimed at depositing and optimizing various materials and devices, in particular amorphous silicon photovoltaic solar cells. He has also supervised the design and construction of many systems for the deposition of thin films by PECVD, sputtering and thermal evaporation.
Most of these activities have taken place under research or sales contracts given by various institutions, such as IMI, ENEA (Italian Government Agencies), IMM CNR (Institute of the National Research Council), Politecnico of Torino, University of Torino, University of Napoli, UNIDO (United Nations Industrial Development Organization), University of Utrecht (The Netherlands), Philips Research Laboratories (UK), Delft Technical University (The Netherlands), ITMA (Spain), Centre for Advanced Technology (India), ECN (The Netherlands), etc. In particular he has established a close working relationship with some of the above mentioned research institutes. His activity has led to the publication of numerous articles in professional journals and conference proceedings .
For several years he has been appointed contract professor at the Physics Department of the Politecnico of Torino and at the University of Torino to give a course entitled "Technologies for deposition of thin films". In July 1994 he has given a series of lectures on the same topic at the University of Pune in India.