Agency / Branch:
DOD / USAF
System Creations proposes to develop and manufacture radiation-hard nitride-based photovoltaics with photon to electric power conversion efficiencies of 40% or more at Atmospheric Mass 0 (AM0). The anticipated success of System Creation's approach is based on a novel nanofabrication technique, Biased-Target Deposition (BTD) and the following properties of the nitride material system: 1. Semiconductors based on nitride chemistry are direct bandgap materials that can have their bandgap tailored anywhere between 0.7 and 6.2 eV. This energy range allows efficient conversion of the entire visible solar spectrum (1.65 to 3.1 eV) and a significant portion of the ultraviolet region (3.1 to 124 eV). 2. The nitrides, due to their low density, high ionization energy, and intrinsic defect compensation, have excellent radiation-hard properties. Aluminum Nitride, which would be the outermost layer in our proposed photovoltaic device, is more resistant to the effects of radiation than Silicon Carbide. 3. A three-junction thin-film nitride cell would be capable of achieving photovoltaic conversion efficiencies of 51% (AM1.5) or more for extraterrestrial applications (AM0). Additional junctions would further increase the efficiency attainable by this material group and could be implemented without substantial increase in processing costs over the three-junction device.
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3838 N. Causeway Blvd., Suite 3070 Metairie, LA 70002
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NOTRE DAME UNIV.
Dept of Electrical Engineering
Notre Dame, IN 46556
Nonprofit college or university