Wang’s recent research focuses on developing new materials for solar cells.

Physics Professor Gwo-Ching Wang has been elected a fellow of the Materials Research Society “for seminal contributions to the fundamental understanding of surface and thin film ordering using electron diffraction and the invention of electron pole figure technique for growth front texture analysis.”

“Throughout her career, Gwo-Ching Wang has made many significant contributions to the fundamental science of thin film materials and characterization, to the extent that future thin film technology will benefit from the knowledge of interface and surface of these materials gained from her group’s work,” said Curt Breneman, dean of the School of Science. “We congratulate her on this honor, and we are very proud to have her as a colleague.”

Fellowship in the Materials Research Society (MRS) honors members who are notable for their distinguished research accomplishments and their outstanding contributions to the advancement of materials research, worldwide, according to the MRS. The maximum number of new fellow appointments each year is limited to 0.2 percent of the current MRS regular membership. Thus, the distinction is highly selective.

The society will recognize the class of 2017 MRS fellows in April, at the 2017 MRS Spring Meeting and Exhibit in Phoenix, Arizona.

Wang’s recent research focuses on developing new materials for solar cells. In particular, Wang is developing thin film materials with high optical absorption in the visible solar spectrum such as tin sulfide and cadmium telluride. The Wang research group discovered a simple method for growing tin sulfide and tin disulfide semiconductor films with ideal properties for high-efficiency solar cells, and was able to tune bandgap during film growth. In future research, they will be working to optimize film growth conditions and interface quality, identifying any key performance limitations and key areas of improvement.

A native of China who grew up in Taiwan, Wang joined Rensselaer’s Physics Department as an associate professor in 1984, after working for four years at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee as a staff scientist in the solid-state physics division. Wang earned her bachelor’s degree in physics from Cheng‐Kung University, Taiwan, her master’s degree from Northern Illinois University, and her doctorate in material physics from the University of Wisconsin‐Madison.