Obituary of Dr. Wolfhard Beyer

Nachruf Dr. Wolfhard Beyer

Dr. Wolfhard Beyer was a formative and highly esteemed scientist of Forschungszentrum Jülich at the then Institute for Layer and Ion Technology and later as acting head of the Institute for Photovoltaics of Research Center Jülich.

Born in 1942 in Themar, Thuringia, he studied physics from 1963 to 1969 at the Philipps University of Marburg, where he received his PhD in 1974 on 'Thermopower and conductivity of amorphous semiconductors with tetrahedral near order'. After working as a research assistant at the Philipps University of Marburg and as a post-doc at the IBM Research Center in San José, USA, he began his work at the then Nuclear Research Facility (KFA), now the Research Center Jülich, in 1979.

At that time, Dr. Wolfhard Beyer brought the field of silicon alloys to the research center. This material system is still the central material of solar cell research at Forschungszentrum Jülich today. He played a major role in planning the scientific program for the establishment of the Institute for Layer and Ion Technology (ISI). He also contributed to the conception of the Photovoltaics Department at ISI in 1990 and the Institute for Photovoltaics (IPV) in 2000. From 2001 to 2007, Dr. Beyer was acting head of the IPV, now IEK-5. His high level of expert knowledge and his great basic scientific understanding, which he was able to convey to his colleagues and staff, contributed significantly to the success of the scientific-technological research and development work of the institute. Even after his retirement, Dr. Beyer remained involved in the research field of photovoltaics through employment at the University of Bielefeld and at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin as well as a guest scientist at the Forschungszentrum Jülich. In particular, his commitment to mentoring young scientists in the development and analysis of scientific results was highly appreciated until his last days.

Mr. Beyer was a world-renowned scientist and expert in the field of amorphous semiconductors, in particular electronic transport and the role of hydrogen in amorphous and microcrystalline silicon and silicon alloys. Numerous invited lectures at international meetings as well as book articles written by him in relevant monographs or on important occasions attest to the broad spectrum of his scientific work and his great reputation in the scientific community.

With Wolfhard Beyer we lose an outstanding scientist, a patient teacher and a kind-hearted person. We will always remember him in this way. Our work will continue to follow his good example and carry on his work in the future.

Last Modified: 24.01.2024