NASA Contract Supports Development of Rugged Solar Cells

May 14, 2008
Kopin has been selected for the award of a $600,000 solar cell development contract from NASA

Kopin, a provider of heterojunction bipolar transistor (HBT) wafers for cellular phones and wireless local area networks, has been selected for the award of a $600,000 solar cell development contract from NASA. The contract is the second phase of a Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) program to develop indium nitride (InN)-based quantum dot solar cell technology. Kopin’s partners on this NASA STTR project include groups at Virginia Tech and Magnolia Optical Technologies.

“The goal of this STTR program is to develop high-efficiency solar cells that are resistant to extreme conditions while achieving high solar electric power conversion efficiency,” said Dr. Roger Welser, Kopin’s director of technology and new product development. “The advanced patent-pending solar cell structure incorporating InN-based nanostructures can harness a very large fraction of the solar spectrum while minimizing the effects of high temperatures and high-energy radiation. This technology will enable photovoltaic power systems of future NASA space exploration missions to operate in extreme environments with high temperature and radiation exposures.”

Quantum-dot nanostructures allow the spectral response and operating voltage of a solar cell to be tailored in ways that are not possible with bulk semiconductor materials. In particular, the wide range of energies accessible to InN-based materials provides unique flexibility in designing quantum-dot solar cell structures.

Phase I work demonstrated device-quality InN-based quantum dots exhibiting strong room-temperature photoluminescence, with peak emission energies ranging from the infrared to the ultraviolet. During the Phase II program, the InN-based quantum dots will be embedded within a higher band-gap GaN barrier material to demonstrate high efficiency and immunity to extreme environments.

Sponsored Recommendations

TTI Transportation Resource Center

April 8, 2024
From sensors to vehicle electrification, from design to production, on-board and off-board a TTI Transportation Specialist will help you keep moving into the future. TTI has been...

Cornell Dubilier: Push EV Charging to Higher Productivity and Lower Recharge Times

April 8, 2024
Optimized for high efficiency power inverter/converter level 3 EV charging systems, CDE capacitors offer high capacitance values, low inductance (< 5 nH), high ripple current ...

TTI Hybrid & Electric Vehicles Line Card

April 8, 2024
Components for Infrastructure, Connectivity and On-board Systems TTI stocks the premier electrical components that hybrid and electric vehicle manufacturers and suppliers need...

Bourns: Automotive-Grade Components for the Rough Road Ahead

April 8, 2024
The electronics needed for transportation today is getting increasingly more demanding and sophisticated, requiring not only high quality components but those that interface well...

Comments

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of Electronic Design, create an account today!