NASA SBIR 2014 Solicitation

FORM B - PROPOSAL SUMMARY


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 14-1 Z1.01-9058
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Advanced Photovoltaic Systems
PROPOSAL TITLE: Low-Cost, Manufacturable, 6-Inch Wafer Bonding Process for Next-Generation 5-Junction IMM+Ge Photovoltaic Devices

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

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Victor Elarde
velarde@mldevices.com
6457 Howard Street
Niles, IL 60714 - 3301
(847) 588-3001 Extension :44

CORPORATE/BUSINESS OFFICIAL (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Noren Pan
npan@mldevices.com
6457 Howard Street
Niles, IL 60714 - 3301
(847) 588-3001 Extension :13

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Begin: 2
End: 4

Technology Available (TAV) Subtopics
Advanced Photovoltaic Systems is a Technology Available (TAV) subtopic that includes NASA Intellectual Property (IP). Do you plan to use the NASA IP under the award?
No

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
We propose the development of a 6-inch wafer bonding process to allow bonding of a multi-junction inverted metamorphic (IMM) tandem solar cell structure to an upright single-junction Ge solar cell. The process will use SU8 epoxy to provide the mechanical connection between the substrates with an embedded metallic grid to provide electrical conductivity across the bonded interface. This process will enable the manufacture of next-generation, five-junction cells with the potential to achieve efficiency >37% under AM0 illumination in high-volume production. The proposed process will be designed for 6-inch substrates and will be low-cost, scalable, and high-yield. Compared to conventional wafer fusion approaches, this technique will be much more tolerant of the rough surfaces typical of metamorphic materials and eliminate the need for any pre-bonding surface polishing or preparation.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
We anticipate that the proposed effort will lead to devices with AM0 efficiency >37%. These high-efficiency, multi-junction cells will be applicable to a wide variety of space platforms, including high-power applications such as solar electric propulsion (SEP). They will also be suitable as a replacement for the existing type of solar cells. The cells will be useful for powering high-altitude, long-endurance unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The high-efficiency, five-junction cells resulting from the proposed effort will be useful in a wide variety of applications. The cells five-junction will be suitable as a replacement for the types of solar cells that are currently used on military and civilian platforms. Other applications that would benefit from increased efficiency solar cells include high-altitude, long-endurance (HALE) solar-powered aircraft, such as the DARPA Vulture, or the Astrium Zephyr. Similarly, this type of solar cell could be used as an additional source of power to increase the endurance of short-range unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), such as the Raven or Puma. Another potential market for high-efficiency solar cells is terrestrial energy production. The five-junction cells are also suitable for use in terrestrial applications, such as solar sheets for power generation off the electrical grid. There is a current demand by the US military for such energy harvesting technology. There exist corresponding civilian applications in the camping and outdoor market. Similarly, this type of solar cell could be used for recharging electronic devices such as mobile phones or computers.

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.)
Generation
Manufacturing Methods
Materials (Insulator, Semiconductor, Substrate)
Processing Methods
Sources (Renewable, Nonrenewable)

Form Generated on 04-23-14 17:37