NASA SBIR 2017 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 171 S3.01-9222
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Power Generation and Conversion
PROPOSAL TITLE: 3D Nano-Epitaxial Lateral Overgrowth (nano-ELOG) of Large Area, Highly Efficient, and Flexible Multijunction Solar Cells for Space Applications

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)
Dr Kamran Forghani
6457 Howard Street
Niles, IL 60714 - 3301
(847) 588-3001

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

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Begin: 1
End: 3

Technology Available (TAV) Subtopics
Power Generation and Conversion is a Technology Available (TAV) subtopic that includes NASA Intellectual Property (IP). Do you plan to use the NASA IP under the award?

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
By Epitaxial Lateral Overgrowth (ELOG) and Selective Area Growth (SAG) in nanometer scales, MicroLink Devices will develop the next generation of multijunction solar cells for Space applications. The proposed innovation is the first attempt to use advanced surface nano-engineering technologies to control the formation, propagation and annihilation mechanism of extended defects including dislocations in multijunction solar cells. There is significant gap between the theoretically calculated efficiency of multijunction solar cells and the experimental results. That efficiency gap increases with the increase of number of junctions/subcells. Misfit dislocations created due to high lattice mismatch between subcells play a major role in hampering the efficiency and reliability of such devices. A successful implementation of nano-ELOG in solar cells will results in 3J solar cells with significantly reduced dislocation density, resulting in an improved Voc and Isc and conversation efficiencies of the cells. Therefore, MLD can utilize this method to grow devices with increased number of junctions to reach practical efficiencies close to 40% (6J) from the current 30% (in commercially available 3J cells) in AM0 and 1sun conditions. It is important to explore, and consequently, take advantage of the latest nano-patterning developments for NASA's photovoltaic devices.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
An application for this technology is in building low-cost, high-efficiency, highly reliable and lightweight solar cell arrays for use in solar-powered spacecraft. The resulting lightweight flexible solar cell arrays with improved record-efficiencies will be an attractive replacement for the existing stiff, heavy carbon fiber panel-based arrays. For NASA, this will be an enabling technology for solar electric propulsion or any mission that requires electrical power. Inner Space and outer Space missions including NASA's Mars program can benefit from the developed technology.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Other applications from this work include arrays for powering UAVs, (unmanned aerial vehicles) and high altitude long endurance (HALE) aircraft. MicroLink's high-efficiency, lightweight, and high specific power solar cells are a critical and enabling technology that will increase the flight endurance and uninterrupted flight time of the current HALE platforms. These solar cell can be used as a power source for "wearables", "internet of things (IOT)" devices as well as the next generation of electric cars. For these markets using flexible and highly efficient solar cells is an enabling technology. Moreover, introduction of solar cells with efficiencies beyond 40% will be a game-changer for the struggling Concentrated Photovoltaics (CPV) market.

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.)
Manufacturing Methods
Processing Methods
Sources (Renewable, Nonrenewable)

Form Generated on 04-19-17 12:59