Daryl M. Chapin
Born July 21, 1906 - Died January 19, 1995
Silicon Solar Cell
Patent #: 2,780,765
Daryl Chapin, with Bell Labs colleagues Calvin Fuller and Gerald Pearson, invented the first practical device for converting sunlight into useful electrical power. Today, the silicon solar cell powers devices from hand held calculators to the Mars Rover.
Chapin was born in Ellensburg, Washington. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Willamette University and a master’s degree from the University of Washington. He joined Bell Labs in 1930, after teaching physics at Oregon State College for a year.
Chapin was a Bell Labs scientist for over 40 years. After retiring, he continued to invent and was working on a new board game for the blind at the time of his death.