NASA SBIR 2011 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 11-2 X8.04-9001
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Advanced Photovoltaic Systems
PROPOSAL TITLE: High-Volume Production of Lightweight, Multi-Junction Solar Cells Using 6-inch GaAs

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)
Christopher Youtsey
6457 West Howard St
Niles, IL 60714 - 3301
(847) 588-3001

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Begin: 4
End: 6

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
In the proposed Phase II program, we will transition MicroLink's 6-inch epitaxial lift-off (ELO) solar cell fabrication process into a manufacturing platform capable of sustaining large-volume production. Key Phase II improvements in the ELO process are reduction in cycle time and increase in the yield of large-area devices. In addition, we will transition all critical device fabrication processes to 6-inch production tool sets that are designed for volume production, with an emphasis on automated cassette-to-cassette and batch processes that will minimize operator dependence and variability. During the Phase II program we will establish a pilot production line capable of at least 1500 6-inch wafers per month at greater than 80% yield. We will also increase the yield and manufacturability of the 6-inch reclaim process, which is crucial to reducing the cost of the cells. This will involve a closer collaboration with our substrate reclaim vendor and the establishment of clear metrics to qualify key process variables impacting device yield. A successful conclusion of this Phase II program will place us in strong position to support potential SEP volume solar cell manufacturing requirements.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The 6-inch ELO manufacturing platform to be developed in this Phase II program is ideally suited for building low-cost, high efficiency and lightweight multijunction solar cells for potential NASA solar electric propulsion programs.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
MicroLink Devices' large-area multijunction solar cells have many different potential applications. The light weight and high specific power of the ELO solar cells make them ideal for powering unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). We are also engaged with several different manufacturers of commercial satellites for whom cost reduction is major motivation. Finally, there are potential military applications for mobile solar electric power to carry out recharging of batteries in the field.

TECHNOLOGY TAXONOMY MAPPING (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.)
Microfabrication (and smaller; see also Electronics; Mechanical Systems; Photonics)
Processing Methods
Sources (Renewable, Nonrenewable)

Form Generated on 11-06-12 18:12