Siva Sivoththaman

Professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering; Ontario Research Chair in Renewable Energy Technologies and Health

​Research interests: silicon-based crystalline and thin-film photovoltaic devices; design and fabrication technology 


Professor Siva Sivoththaman is a recognized expert in semiconductor materials, electronic devices, and fabrication technologies with a major focus on Photo-Voltaic (PV) energy conversion. His activities in PV include the development advanced PV materials and concepts for high performance, material-specific devices using thin-film and bulk semiconductor technologies.

One aspect of his nanotechnology related research involves the fabrication of Silicon (Si) nanopillars and nanowires from bulk crystals. Sivoththaman is developing methods for the fabrication, detachment, manipulation, and re-deployment of the Si nanopillars primarily for PV applications but also for use in transistors, integrated logic circuits, electrochemical sensors and electroluminescent devices.

Specifically, plasma processing for Si nanowire formation, opto-thermal oxidation for passivation and dimensional control, and re-deployment techniques in SiO2 matrices are among his current research activities. Increased luminescent efficiency, quantum confinement effect, and new device architectures will be exploited to fabricate high performance PV devices.

Another nanotechnology research focus is the use of nanocrystalline Quantum Dots (QD) for PV applications. Current research involves the characterization of the size-dependent optical properties of the QDs (e.g., CdSe) as well as technology development for embbedding nanocrystallite QDs into polymeric thin films. QD-assisted spectral engineering will be used to overcome what is now considered performance limitations of traditional photovoltaic cells.

In addition to the material processing and fabrication aspects, the research also encompasses extensive material characterization activities such as high resolution transmission electron microscopy, scanning electron microscopy, electro and photo luminescence, etc. While the development of advanced concepts and technologies for PV is the main goal, improved cost performance and technology up-scalability are also key considerations in Sivoththaman’s research.

Sivoththaman received the PhD degree from the University of Paris (France) in 1993. After his PhD he worked at the Interuniversity Micro Electronic Center –€“ IMEC (Belgium) as a Senior Research Engineer for 6 years. In year 2000 he joined the Electrical and Computer Engineering department of the University of Waterloo as an Associate Professor and became Full Professor in 2007. Sivoththaman received the Ontario Premier’s Research Excellence Award in 2002 and has held an Associate Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) Industrial Research Chair during 2002-2006. He is a Senior Member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE).


  • PhD, University of Paris, France

  • MEng, AIT, Bangkok

  • BE, Madurai

Siva Sivoththaman


Research interests

  • Crystalline and thin-film photovoltaic devices: design and fabrication technology

  • Semiconductor defects and defect passivation technologies

  • Advanced processing technologies for microelectronic devices and process modeling

  • Micro-Electro Mechanical Systems (MEMS) technology, silicon micromachining

  • Semiconductor nanowires and quantum dots for photovoltaics

  • Silicon feedstock and bulk crystal growth

  • Optothermal processing in thin-film technology


Recent publications include:

  • Tian, Lin; Fathi, Ehsanollah; Tarighat, Roohollah S.; Sivoththaman, Siva, “Nanocrystalline silicon deposition at high rate and low temperature from pure silane in a modified ICP-CVD system”, Semiconductor Science and Technology, 28(10), (2013)

  • Moradi, Maziar; Sivoththaman, Siva, “Strain Transfer Analysis of Surface-Bonded MEMS Strain Sensors”, IEEE Sensors Journal, 13(2), pp637-643 (2013)

  • Janfeshan, Bita; Sadeghimakki, Bahareh; Jahed, Navid M. S.; Sivoththaman, Siva, “Zinc Oxide Nanowire Arrays for Photovoltaic and Light-emitting Devices”, (Eds. Freundlich, A; Guillemoles, JF), Physics, Simulation, and Photonic Engineering of Photovoltaic Devices II, 8620 (2013)

  • Gharghi, Majid; Fathi, Ehsanollah; Kante, Boubacar; Sivoththaman, Siva; Zhang, Xiang, “Heterojunction Silicon Microwire Solar Cells”, Nano Letters, 12(12), pp6278-6282 (2012)

  • Jeyakumar, R.; Gu, Z.; Sivoththaman, S.; Nathan, A., “Synthesis and characterization of low-k films for large area imaging applications”, Microelectronic Engineering, 99, pp58-61 (2012)

  • Visakhamoorthy, Sona; Wen, John Z.; Sivoththaman, Siva; Koch, Charles Robert, “Numerical study of a butanol/heptane fuelled Homogeneous Charge Compression Ignition (HCCI) engine utilizing negative valve overlap”, Applied Energy, 94, pp166-176 (2012)

  • Gharghi, Majid; Sivoththaman, Siva, “Spherical Photovoltaic Device With Tailored Emitter Structure”, IEEE Electron Device Letters, 32(1), pp48-50 (2011)

  • Baldus-Jeursen, Christopher; Sivoththaman, Siva, “Thermal modelling of laser processing for silicon photovoltaics”, (Eds. Kashyap, R; Tetu, M; Kleiman, RN), Photonics North (2011)

  • Janfeshan, Bita; Sivoththaman, Siva, “Synthesis and Properties of Zinc Oxide Nanowires for Photovoltaics”, (Eds. Kashyap, R; Tetu, M; Kleiman, RN), Photonics North (2011)

  • Esfandiarpour, Behzad; Sivoththaman, Siva, “A Silicon Texturing Technique Based on Etching Through a Liquid-Phase Deposited Oxide Mask”, Electrochemical and Solid State Letters, 13(12), ppD97-D99 (2010)

  • Wang, Jun; Farrokh-Baroughi, Mahdi; Shanmugam, Mariyappan; Samadzadeh-Tarighat, Roohollah; Sivoththaman, Siva; Paul, Sanjoy, “Passivation of Silicon Surfaces Using Atomic Layer Deposited Metal Oxides”, (Eds. Flewitt, A; Wang, Q; Hou, J; Uchikoga, S; Nathan, A),Amorphous and Polycrystalline Thin Film Silicon Science and Technology, 1153 (2009)

  • Gharghi, M.; Cheng, C.; Sivoththaman, S., “Minority carrier recombination in spherical silicon crystals: measurement and process-induced effects”, Semiconductor Science and Technology, 23(12) (2008)

  • Gharghi, Majid; Sivoththaman, Siva, “Growth and structural characterization of spherical silicon crystals grown from polysilicon”, Journal of Electronic Materials, 37(11), pp1657-1664 (2008)

  • Gharghi, M.; Sivoththaman, S., “Spherical silicon photovoltaic devices with surface-passivated shallow emitters”, Semiconductor Science and Technology, 23(10) (2008)

  • Sadeghimakki, Bahareh; Sivoththaman, Siva, “Investigation of structural and optical properties of CdSe quantum dots in glass matrices for photovoltaic application”, (Ed. Tsakalakos, L), Nanoscale Photonic and Cell Technologies for Photovoltaics, 7047 (2008)

  • Gharghi, M.; Sivoththaman, S., “Design of Anti-Reflection Coating for Spherical Silicon Photovoltaic Devices”, (Eds. von Roedern, B; Delahoy, AE), Photovoltaic Cell and Module Technologies II, 7045 (2008)