High Operating Temperature, Radiation-Hard MIM Thermophotovoltaic Converters

Award Information
Agency:
National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Branch
n/a
Amount:
$69,387.00
Award Year:
2006
Program:
SBIR
Phase:
Phase I
Contract:
NNC06CA63C
Agency Tracking Number:
054979
Solicitation Year:
2005
Solicitation Topic Code:
S2.04
Solicitation Number:
n/a
Small Business Information
Spire Corp
One Patriots Park, Bedford, MA, 01730-2396
Hubzone Owned:
N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged:
N
Woman Owned:
N
Duns:
065137978
Principal Investigator:
Steven Wojtczuk
Principal Investigator
(781) 275-6000
swojtczuk@bandwidthsemi.com
Business Contact:
Mark Little
CEO, Spire Biomedical
(781) 275-6000
mlittle@spirecorp.com
Research Institution:
n/a
Abstract
Spire Corporation proposes to investigate InGaAs thermophotovoltaic (TPV) cells optimized for high temperature operation (~150C) and radiation hardness against the 1.64MeV neutron flux likely from plutonium dioxide general purpose heat sources. We propose to develop a temperature-dependent TPV cell model and select an optimum bandgap for 150C operation with a 1100C heat spectrum, using a cell design with a thin (~1 micron vs standard ~3 micron) base that improves tolerance to diffusion length degradation from radiation. In order to increase photon absorption in this thin cell, we propose to epitaxially grow a monolithic 15 period InGaAs/InAlAs Bragg mirror to reflect about 90% of the incident usable (2 ~micron wavelength) photons back through the cell. The proposed advantage of the Bragg over a standard back metal mirror reflector is that the dielectric mirror has some ability to use strain exerted at the interfaces of the different mirror materials as a threading-to-misfit dislocation filter to further enhance the cell efficiency. We also propose to examine polyimide along with standard SiN for MIMs (monolithically integrated multijunction module) edge passivation.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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