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SBIR Phase I:Rare-Earth-Doped Wavelength Conversion Material and Optical Element

Award Information
Agency: National Science Foundation
Branch: N/A
Contract: 1013378
Agency Tracking Number: 1013378
Amount: $164,867.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: NM
Solicitation Number: NSF 09-609
Solicitation Year: 2010
Award Year: 2010
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): N/A
Award End Date (Contract End Date): N/A
Small Business Information
661 Pleasant Street
Norwood, MA 02062
United States
DUNS: 826239506
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Mark Spitzer
 (781) 492-9200
Business Contact
 Mark Spitzer
Title: DPhil
Phone: (781) 492-9200
Research Institution

This Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I project aims to integrate up and down conversion materials into a single photonic device to solve the problem of mismatch between the solar spectrum and solar cells formed from single absorbers such as silicon. Cooperative nonradiative energy transfer between rare-earth dopants will be employed as the physical mechanism to support wavelength conversion. By integrating up and down converting materials, this approach will not only enhance quantum efficiency above and below the absorber band gap, but also recover losses associated with down conversion in the up converter. In this project, fluorine-based materials developed for solid state lasers will be doped specifically for solar applications, and will be tested to determine the feasibility of efficient synergistic up and down conversion between 1 and 1000 suns.
The broader/commercial impact of this project will be the potential to significantly improve energy conversion efficiency of solar cells. The spectrum mismatch addressed in this work is responsible for the loss of 50% of the energy reaching solar cells. In addition, this technology does not require changes to the solar cells or electrical connections. Therefore, the integration of this optical product into solar energy systems is straightforward.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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