Nanowire Photovoltaic Devices

Award Information
Agency:
National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Branch
n/a
Amount:
$599,918.00
Award Year:
2011
Program:
STTR
Phase:
Phase II
Contract:
NNX11CC58C
Agency Tracking Number:
090028
Solicitation Year:
2009
Solicitation Topic Code:
T3.01
Solicitation Number:
n/a
Small Business Information
Firefly Technologies
2082 Hackberry Lane, Shakopee, MN, 55379-4622
Hubzone Owned:
N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged:
N
Woman Owned:
Y
Duns:
828188347
Principal Investigator:
David Forbes
Principal Investigator
(330) 421-2104
dvfsps@rit.edu
Business Contact:
Michael Nesnidal
Business Official
(608) 608-0935
mness4@yahoo.com
Research Institution:
Rochester Institute of Technology
Katherine Clark
111 Lomb Memorial Drive
Rochester, NY, 14623-5608
() -
Nonprofit college or university
Abstract
Firefly, in collaboration with Rochester Institute of Technology, proposes developing a space solar cell having record efficiency exceeding 40% (AM0) by the introduction of nanowires within the active region of the current limiting sub-cell. The introduction of these nanoscale features will enable realization of an intermediate band solar cell (IBSC), while simultaneously increasing the effective absorption volume that can otherwise limit short-circuit current generated by thin quantized layers. The triple junction cell follows conventional designs comprised of bottom Ge cell (0.67eV), a current-limiting middle GaAs (1.43eV) cell, and a top InGaP (1.90eV) cell. The GaAs cell will be modified to contain InAs nanowires to enable an IBSC, which is predicted to demonstrate ~45% efficiency under 1-sun AM0 conditions. The InAs nanowires will be implemented in-situ within the epitaxy environment, which is a significant innovation relative to conventional semiconductor nanowire generation using ex-situ gold nanoparticles. Successful completion of the proposed work will result in ultra-high efficiency, radiation-tolerant space solar cells that are compatible with existing manufacturing processes. Significant cost savings are expected with higher efficiency cells, enabling increased payload capability and longer mission durations.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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