Nanowire Photovoltaic Devices

Award Information
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Branch: N/A
Contract: NNX11CC58C
Agency Tracking Number: 090028
Amount: $599,918.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: STTR
Awards Year: 2011
Solicitation Year: 2009
Solicitation Topic Code: T3.01
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
2082 Hackberry Lane, Shakopee, MN, 55379-4622
DUNS: 828188347
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: Y
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 David Forbes
 Principal Investigator
 (330) 421-2104
 dvfsps@rit.edu
Business Contact
 Michael Nesnidal
Title: Business Official
Phone: (608) 608-0935
Email: 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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