STTR Phase I: Radial Nanojunction Array Photovoltaic Materials

Award Information
Agency: National Science Foundation
Branch: N/A
Contract: 0638104
Agency Tracking Number: 0638104
Amount: $150,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: STTR
Awards Year: 2007
Solicitation Year: 2006
Solicitation Topic Code: MI
Solicitation Number: NSF 06-553
Small Business Information
DUNS: 130993384
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Dmitri Routkevitch
 (720) 494-8401
Business Contact
 Stephen Williams Jr
Title: PhD
Phone: (720) 494-8401
Research Institution
 Univ of CO Boulder
 Steven K George
 Chemical Eng. 424 UCB
Boulder, CO, 80309
 (303) 492-3398
 Nonprofit college or university
This Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Phase I project involves the development of a new method for fabrication of nanostructured photovoltaics with ultra-high efficiency. Solar energy conversion using photovoltaics (PVs) is an important energy technology. However, to fully realize solar energy's promise, a significant advance in the current state-of-the-art must still be obtained, such as increasing efficiency and lowering cost per kWh. Synkera will address this need by proposing a new class of fully inorganic photovoltaics. These materials feature innovative 3-D architecture, which combine high surface area arrays of nanojunctions with continuous grading of the band gap to match the solar spectrum. Based on lightweight and low-cost substrates and using scalable processes, this architecture has the potential to achieve conversion efficiencies up to 60%, provide high power density, and enable long-term radiation and temperature stability. The proposed approach will be implemented by combining core expertise and capabilities of Synkera Technologies and the University of Colorado at Boulder. The goal of the Phase I work is to demonstrate that the proposed architecture can enable better performance in comparison with conventional photovoltaic materials.Commercially, the expected result of the proposed work is a manufacturing technology for commercially viable production of low-cost photovoltaics with advanced performance, including ultra-high efficiency and high energy density. Inorganic photovoltaic materials encapsulated in a robust ceramic host will assure greater radiation stability, as well as superb thermal and mechanical reliability. Enabling these benefits will provide significant advantages in the marketplace and an opportunity to serve terrestrial solar energy markets in commercial, governmental and military markets, with the residential energy generation dominating the market share. Furthermore, robustness of proposedmaterials makes them also attractive for use in growing satellite market. This new manufacturing technology will contribute to strengthening the US economy by helping to create a robust and globally competitive domestic solar cell industry. It will also contribute to the Nation's security by reducing our dependence on non-renewable energy supplies.

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

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