Thin (<30 micron) Silicon-Film Solar Cells on Glass-Ceramic Substrates

Award Information
Agency:
Department of Energy
Branch
n/a
Amount:
$75,000.00
Award Year:
1998
Program:
SBIR
Phase:
Phase I
Contract:
n/a
Agency Tracking Number:
41723
Solicitation Year:
n/a
Solicitation Topic Code:
n/a
Solicitation Number:
n/a
Small Business Information
AstroPower, Inc.
Solar Park, 461 Wyoming Road, Newark, DE, 19716
Hubzone Owned:
N
Minority Owned:
N
Woman Owned:
N
Duns:
n/a
Principal Investigator:
Dr. Michael G. Mauk
Research Engineer
(302) 366-0400
Business Contact:
Mr. Thomas J. Stiner
Chief Financial Officer
(302) 366-0400
Research Institution:
n/a
Abstract
50341-98-I Thin (<30 micron) Silicon-Film Solar Cells on Glass-Ceramic Substrates--AstroPower, Inc., Solar Park, Newark, DE 19716-2000; (302) 366-0400 Dr. Michael G. Mauk, Principal Investigator Mr. Thomas J. Stiner, Business Official DOE Grant No. DE-FG02-98ER82535 Amount: $75,000 New design approaches and materials technologies are needed to exploit the performance and cost advantages of polycrystalline silicon solar cells made in a thin (less than 30 micron thick) configuration. The ultimate objective is a high-efficiency solar cell based on a 10- to 30-micron thick film of silicon on a very low-cost glass ceramic substrate. The solar cell will utilize light trapping and surface passivation, leading to efficiencies greater than 15%. Phase I will develop a thermal-expansion matched glass ceramic substrate, deposit 10- to 30-micron thick of silicon on the substrate by hot-wire CVD, and melt the CVD silicon layer to grow large-grain (~1 mm) films of silicon suitable for high-efficiency photovoltaics. The optical, electrical, and mechanical properties of the silicon-on-ceramic films will be evaluated. An all-top contact silicon solar cell will be demonstrated and fully characterized. Experiments assessing the feasibility of other contact schemes will be reported. Commercial Applications and Other Benefits as described by the awardee: The technology should lead to further cost reductions in terrestrial power solar cells due to reduced consumption of silicon and higher throughput fabrication processes. ¿Smart power¿ applications include battery charging for cellular phones and other consumer electronics applications. The solar cell is compatible with existing commercial Silicon-FilmTM technology and should be well positioned for large-scale, economic production. _

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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