Chris France, Alta Devices

Chris France


Chris France, Ph.D. has spent the better part of the last decade working to make the solar future a reality.

He graduated from California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo with a B.S. in physics in 2004. His senior thesis was in modeling the behavior of blended organic PV devices to drive research on low-cost, non-toxic solar energy conversion. In 2011 he graduated with a Ph.D. in physics from the University of California in Santa Cruz after conducting research in high-efficiency lighting and ultra-thin film CdTe based solar cells at UCSC and the Advanced Studies Lab at NASA Ames Research Center.

Since 2011 then he has worked as a failure analysis and product engineer at Alta Devices helping to drive development and find the best applications for the world’s highest efficiency, thin-film, flexible solar technology. He works closely with customers to design solar technology into their products. This includes educating customers on how solar works and how it can improve their product’s performance as well as providing technical feedback on layout, electrical integration and physical integration.

Alta Devices is a Silicon Valley start-up founded in 2008 that currently holds the NREL certified single-junction cell and matrix records for terrestrial solar energy conversion. Their pilot line in Sunnyvale, CA is based on patented and proprietary tools and technology and is currently providing material for high value markets including UAVs.