Enabling High Operational Efficiencies with Mid-Bandgap AgCIGS on Modified High-Temperature Capable, Lightweight and Flexible Substrates

Award Information
Department of Defense
Air Force
Award Year:
Phase II
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Ascent Solar Technologies
12300 Grant Street, Thornton, CO, -
Hubzone Owned:
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged:
Woman Owned:
Principal Investigator:
Lawrence Woods
Senior Scientist
(720) 872-5135
Business Contact:
Deb Koll
(720) 872-5141
Research Institution:

ABSTRACT: Phase II will leverage the success of Phase I, as well as integrate advances from internal programs, to scale up development of mid-bandgap (1.4 eV) chalcopyrite-based PV. We will optimize chemistries of the device, as well as enable increased temperature for reduced the defect density by a combination of new substrates and refined thermal management to enable>15% efficient modules on lightweight and flexible polymer substrates. As an added benefit, mid-bandgap devices will improve the performance of CIGS-based devices for space applications by enable 30% higher performance at nominal operational temperatures due to lower temperature coefficients and reduced joule-heating losses. We will address the following: 1) optimize the thermal management of the process to enable better coupling of thermal energy to the back contact and utilize high-temperature substrates with reduced coefficient of thermal expansion (CTE), 2) optimize the back contact of the device to best match electrical and mechanical requirements of this improved process, 3) optimize flexible mid-bandgap AgCIGS and buffer layers in order to achieve desired electrical and mechanical performance, and 4) optimize submodule design, patterning and printing for the new mid-bandgap material. Each of these approaches have been demonstrated to reduce defects. BENEFIT: We have a natural evolution of our product development through R & D, Roll-to-roll Prototype/Development (within R & / Engineering) and Production. Commercialization of the mid-bandgap devices will be marked by demonstration on R & D"s decommissioned production equipment. Mid-bandgap modules with High-Temperature substrates will likely represent the second or third generation of product from AST, the first being our production single-junction flexible monolithically integrated CIGS product. Our customers for this product will be defense agencies/contractors (space and satellite power, near space reconnaissance, battle field power solutions packs, solar powered tents, portable power), power electronics OEMs and consumer electronic products, building material solution providers, and PV system integrators for both the commercial and residential building product markets. Our lightweight, high specific power product can be incorporated into fabric, structural composites, and polymeric circuitry to present advantages over ultra-high efficiency expensive multijunction PV. In Phase II, we specifically will be able to evaluate production readiness of the thin film device, patterning and printing operations at AST, as well as supply chain readiness.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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