USA flag logo/image

An Official Website of the United States Government

High Efficiency, High Mass Specific Power Two-Terminal Solar Cells

Award Information

National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2008 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
EPIR Technologies Inc
590 Territorial Drive, Suite B Bolingbrook, IL 60440-4881
View profile »
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 1
Fiscal Year: 2008
Title: High Efficiency, High Mass Specific Power Two-Terminal Solar Cells
Agency: NASA
Contract: NNX08CB48P
Award Amount: $99,997.00


Future NASA missions will require significant improvements in photovoltaic energy conversion efficiency (>30%) and mass specific power (>600 W/kg), and improved radiation tolerance. We propose to develop a high efficiency monolithic three-junction, two-terminal solar cell using lattice matched HgCdZnTe and/or HgCdMgTe alloys, which will offer great advantages in terms of weight and interconnect simplicity as well as improvements in efficiency. The use of frequency down conversion by divalent Sm/Eu and trivalent Yb/Tb halides embedded in the protective coatings of the solar cells to increase the efficiency of photovoltaic conversion will be investigated. The predicted ideal efficiencies are greater than 50%. During Phase I we will determine the optimal layer thicknesses, doping profiles and current density matching requirements for two-terminal multiple-heterojunction solar cell designs. We will grow HgCdZnTe layers with Zn composition ≈ 0.5 on a Si substrate using a thin CdTe/ZnTe strained-layer superlattice to eliminate cracking and minimize strain, will optimize the growth of HgCdMgTe, and will measure mobilities and minority carrier lifetimes in the layers. We will fabricate and test a two-junction solar cell. Frequency down conversion will be demonstrated, progress toward its optimization will be made, and optical fusion of the solar cell and protective layers will be investigated.

Principal Investigator:

Paul Boieriu
Principal Investigator

Business Contact:

Dr. Sivalingam Sivananthan
Small Business Information at Submission:

EPIR Technologies, Inc.
590 Territorial Drive, Suite B Bolingbrook, IL 60440

EIN/Tax ID: 364196918
Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No