NASA SBIR 2007 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 07-2 S3.03-8411
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Power Generation and Storage
PROPOSAL TITLE: Lightweight InP Solar Cells for Space Applications

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
MicroLink Devices
6457 Howard Street
Niles, IL 60714 - 3301
(847) 588-3001

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Noren Pan
6457 Howard Street
Niles, IL 60714 - 2232
(847) 588-3001

Expected Technology Readiness Level (TRL) upon completion of contract: 4 to 5

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
The innovation in this Phase II SBIR is the development of a technology which will enable the manufacture of a lightweight, low cost, high radiation resistance InP based solar cells with high efficiency suitable for space power systems. The key technological step is the application of a production-worthy epitaxial liftoff (ELO) process to a multijunction solar cell structure fabricated on a large area ( 3-inch and 4-inch)InP substrates. Our focus will be on the improvement of the efficiency of dual junction to greater than 23% and a pathway towards InP based triple junction. The number of substrate reusage will also be investigated to determine the impact of cost savings due to the high cost of InP substrates. Radiation testing of the ELO InP solar cells will be performed and compared to standard InP solar cells.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
This technology will be potentially applicable on many NASA space missions on which solar power is needed, particularly those utilizing solar electric propulsion (SEP). InP is particularly attractive if missions require a high efficiency at the end of life under high radiation environments. Low cost is another attractive feature of this technology since the InP substrate will be reused multiple times reducing the cost of InP based solar cells.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
InP based materials offer higher efficiency in the long wavelength region in comparison to other indirect semiconductor like Ge. The insertion of InP has been prohibitive due to the cost of InP substrate. The ELO technology offers a clear pathway towards a lower cost structure for InP based solar cells. A lower cost structure could permit the usage of InP solar cells in very high efficiency terrestrial requirements. This effort could also benefit high frequency electronic InP based devices since the removal of the substrate could provide a significant reduction in the thermal resistance of the device.

NASA's technology taxonomy has been developed by the SBIR-STTR program to disseminate awareness of proposed and awarded R/R&D in the agency. It is a listing of over 100 technologies, sorted into broad categories, of interest to NASA.

Photovoltaic Conversion

Form Generated on 10-23-08 13:36