Larry C. Olsen

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Larry C. Olsen
Born (1937-07-25) July 25, 1937 (age 78)
Nationality American
Education BS Engineering Physics, PhD Solid State Physics
Alma mater University of Kansas
BS Engineering Physics
PhD Solid State Physics
Known for Pioneering Research in Betavoltaic Technology
Notable awards R&D 100 Award, DOE FLC Award, Tri-City Herald "Man of the Year"

Larry C. Olsen, PhD is Director of Research at City Labs, Inc, an early stage manufacturer of betavoltaic batteries for microelectronics based in Homestead, Florida. Dr. Olsen is a pioneer in the commercialization of betavoltaic technology due to his successful work in leading the development of the first commercially available betavoltaic nuclear battery at McDonnell Douglas Corporation in the 1970s.[,[1][2]][3] Several hundred of these batteries were fabricated and a large number were used to power implanted heart pacemakers[4][[5]]. Throughout his career, Dr. Olsen has published more than 80 articles in the fields of betavoltaics, photovoltaics, thermoelectric materials, and solid state physics. He has also earned several awards for his research, including the R&D 100 Award, presented each year by R&D Magazine to identify the 100 most significant, newly introduced research and development advances in multiple disciplines. (See Awards,below.)

Dr. Olsen’s early work began as a Research Scientist with DWDL (1965 to 1974). Following this initial work, he became a Professor of Materials Science and Engineering at Washington State University (1974 to 2001). More recently, he served as a Staff Scientist at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory from 2000 until his retirement in 2009. He chose to come out of retirement in order to join City Labs as Director of Research.

Pioneering Work[edit]

Betavoltaic and Thermoelectric Energy Conversion[edit]

From 1967 to 1972, Dr. Olsen led research efforts in betavoltaic and thermoelectric energy conversion as a Research Scientist at DWDL. He led a team in developing the Betacel, the first commercial betavoltaic nuclear battery for cardiac pacemakers.[,[1][6]][3] The Betacel was based on Promethium 147 beta sources coupled to custom designed silicon devices. Betacel powered cardiac pacemakers were implanted in numerous patients in the 1970s. Biotronik GmbH & Co., Ingenieurburo, Berlin, adapted its chemical battery-powered pacemakers to accept the promethium-fueled betacel battery. The Betacel-Biotronik pacemaker began in Europe in 1972 and was extended to the United States under State of Washington license in 1973. By early 1973, over 60 implanted Betacel-Biotronik pacemakers were being monitored as part of the clinical investigation.[7] By mid-1974, the United States Atomic Energy Commission (USAEC) had authorized the licensing in the United States of a Clinical Investigation Program that allowed the implantation of 50 Betacel-Biotronik pacemakers per month in major clinics in the U.S.[4]

Tri-Citian of the Year[edit]

For this ground-breaking work, the Tri-Cities of Washington State named Olsen the 1970 Tri-Citian of the year.[6] Since then, Dr. Olsen has continued to be involved in betavoltaic battery development, which includes consulting activities with government agencies.

Other Notable Accomplishments[edit]

Distinguished Professor in Material Science[edit]

Dr. Olsen served as a professor in the Materials Science & Engineering Department at Washington State University from 1974 to 2001[[8]]. During that period, he developed a photovoltaic research laboratory, while maintaining teaching responsibilities. He carried out R&D work in solar cells based on silicon, CIGS, CdTe, GaAs and related III-V semiconductors. Dr. Olsen’s efforts resulted in GaAs cells that were greater than 21% efficient when coupled to simulated solar illumination.[[9]] GaAs cells were also developed for coupling to a monochromatic beam of photons with a wavelength of 850 nm. These cells converted 850 nm light to electrical power with an efficiency of 53% - the highest efficiency reported at the time produced for a cell irradiated with a monochromatic beam.[[10]] For this research, Dr. Olsen was named WSU Distinguished Professor in Material Science in 1992.[[8]]. As a professor, he also supervised more than twenty theses.

R&D 100 Award[edit]

As Staff Scientist at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Dr. Olsen developed programs in photovoltaics, thermoelectric energy conversion, and radiation detectors. He received the 2009 R&D 100 Award from R&D Magazine for work on advanced thin film thermoelectric materials and transfer of technology to industry (see Awards). The R&D 100 Awards are presented each year by the Magazine to identify the 100 most significant newly introduced research and development advances in multiple disciplines.

Dr. Olsen has been awarded several patents. (See Patents, below)

Education and Associations[edit]

Dr. Olsen is a graduate of the University of Kansas, where he earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering Physics and his PhD in Solid State Physics. He was previously a member of the American Physical Society, Materials Research Society and Sigma Xi.

Awards[edit]

1. 2009 - R&D 100 Award for transferring technology for deposition of thin films of thermoelectric material to Perpetua Power Source Technologies of Corvallis, Oregon. Perpetua used the technology to develop a product referred as Power PuckTM.

2. 2009 DOE FLC Award. Awards given by the Department of Energy to National Laboratory personnel for transfer of technology to industry. The award was for the transfer of thermoelectric thin film fabrication techniques to Perpetua Power Source Technologies of Corvallis, Oregon.

3. 1992-1993 - "Distinguished Professor in Material Science” at Washington State University. Award sponsored by the Westinghouse Hanford Co. (See WSU Week, October 16, 1992.)

4. Listed in “American Men and Women of Science”

5. Listed in “Who’s Who in the West”

6. 1970 - Tri-City Herald “Man of the Year”. Honor given by the Tri-City Herald of Tri-Cities, WA for leading the development of the Betacel nuclear battery at DWDL. See the Tri-City Herald, January 1, 1971, page 1.

7. 1962 - Socony Mobil Fellowship for Studies in Solid State Physics. Fellowship given each year to a graduate student in physics at the University of Kansas.

Selected Publications Authored and Co-authored by Dr. Olsen[edit]

1. "Nuclear Electric Power Sources for Biomedical Applications," Proc. 4th Intersociety Energy Conversion Engineering Conference 101(1969)

2. "Betavoltaic Nuclear Electric Power Sources," ANS Trans. 12, 481(1969)

3. "Beta Irradiation of Silicon Junction Devices: Effects of diffusion Length," IEEE Trans. on Nuclear Science NS19, 375(1972).

4. "Betavoltaic Energy Conversion," Energy Conversion 13, 114 (1973).

5. "Betacel Nuclear Batteries for Biomedical Applications," Proc. 8th Intersociety Energy Conversion Engineering Conference, 451(1973)

6. "Advanced Betavoltaic Power Sources," Proc. 9th Intersociety Energy Conversion Engineering Conference, 754 (1974)

7. "Vacuum-Evaporated Conducting ZnS Films," Appl. Phys. Letters 34, 528 (1979).

8. "Experimental and Theoretical Studies of Cu2O Solar Cells, " Solar Cells 7, 247 (1983)

9. "Model Calculations of Silicon Inversion-Layer Solar Cells," Solar Cells 8, 371 (1983).

10. "Solar Cells Based on GaPxAs1-x Compounds," Proc. 13th IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference, 972 (1978).

11. "Physical Structure of Al-pSi MIS Solar Cells," Jour. Appl. Phys. 51, 6393 (1980).

12. "Investigation of High Efficiency Silicon MINP Solar Cells," Solar Cells 17, 151 (1986).

13 "Electro-Optical Characterization of GaAs Solar Cells," Proc. 19th IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference, 238 (1987).

14. "PC-1D Modeling of Depletion Layer Recombination in GaAs Solar Cells," Proc. 21st IEEE Photovoltaics Specialists Conference 415, May 21–25, 1990.

15. "High Efficiency Monochromatic GaAs Solar Cells," Proc. 22nd IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference, 419, Oct. 7-11, 1991.

16. "Review of Betavoltaic Energy Conversion," Proc. XII Space Photovoltaic Research and Technology Conference, page 256, Oct. 20-22, 1992.

17. "Efficient Direct ZnO/CIS Solar Cells," 13th NREL Photovoltaic Review, May 16–19, 1995, AIP Conf. Proceedings 353, pp 436–443, Harin S. Ullal and C. Edwin Witt, Editors.

18. "High Efficiency CIGS and CIS Cells with CVD ZnO Buffer Layers," Proc. 26th IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference, 363, September 29, 1997.

19. "Effects of Moisture on CdTe Cell I-V Characteristics," Conference Record 2006 IEEE 4th World Conference on Photovoltaic Energy Conversion, pages 2138-2140, Waikola, HI, May 7–12, 2006.

20. "Traps identification in Copper-Indium-Gallium-Sulfur-Selenide solar cells completed with various buffer layers by deep level transient spectroscopy," Thin Solid Films 515 (2006) 2625-2631.

21. "Approaches to Encapsulation of Flexible CIGS Cells," Proc. of SPIE Vol 7048, pages 7048O1-O8. Invited paper.

Patents[edit]

1. "Nuclear Battery," U.S. Patent 3,706,893

2. "Process for Expanding Pyrolytic Graphite and Products Thereof," U.S. Patent 3,885,007

3. "Thermoelectric Power Source Utilizing Ambient Energy Harvesting for Remote Sensing and Transmitting," Patent Number: 7,834,263

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Nuclear Battery," U.S. Patent 3,706,893, Larry C. Olsen, Stephen E. Seeman, Bobby I. Griffin and Charles J. Ambrose
  2. ^ 1970 - Tri-City Herald “Man of the Year”. Honor given by the Tri-City Herald of Tri-Cities, WA for leading the development of the Betacel nuclear battery at DWDL. See page 1 of the Tri-City Herald, January 1, 1971.
  3. ^ a b "Nuclear-Fueled Cardiac Pacemakers," Fred N. Huffman and John C. Norman, CHEST 65, page 667 - 672 (1974).
  4. ^ a b "Benefits and Risks of Promethium Battery-Powered Pacemakers," R. Franco and M.L. Smith, Advances in Pacemaker Technology, M. Schaldach and S. Furman, Editors, Springer-Verlag, 1975, page 539, Proc. Int. Symp. on Advances in Pacemaker Technology, Erlagen (1974).
  5. ^ "Benefit/Risk Analysis of Cardiac Pacemakers Powered by BETACEL Promethium-147 Batteries, T.H. Smith, J. Greenborg and W.E. Matheson, Nuclear Technology 26, Mary 1975.
  6. ^ a b 1970 - Tri-City Herald “Man of the Year”. Honor given by the Tri-City Herald of Tri-Cities, WA for leading the development of the Betacel nuclear battery at DWDL. See page 1 of the Tri-City Herald, January 1, 1971.
  7. ^ Benefit/Risk Analysis of Cardiac Pacemakers Powered by BETACEL Promethium-147 Batteries, T.H. Smith, J. Greenborg and W.E. Matheson, Nuclear Technology 26, May 1975.
  8. ^ a b 1992-1993 - "Distinguished Professor in Material Science” at Washington State University. Award sponsored by the Westinghouse Hanford Co. See WSU Week, October 16, 1992.
  9. ^ "PC-1D Modeling of Depletion Layer Recombination in GaAs Solar Cells," Proc. 21st IEEE Photovoltaics Specialists Conference 415, May 21–25, 1990.
  10. ^ "High Efficiency Monochromatic GaAs Solar Cells," Proc. 22nd IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference, 419, Oct. 7-11, 1991.

External links[edit]

  • City Labs, Inc. [1]
  • Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) Awards [2]
  • R&D 100 Awards [3]
  • Washington State University Faculty [4]