High specific power flexible integrated IMM photovoltaic blanket

Period of Performance: 01/01/2012 - 12/31/2012

$125K

Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Nanohmics, Inc.
6201 E. Oltorf Street Suite 400
Austin, TX 78741
Principal Investigator
Firm POC

Abstract

Originally designed for space applications, multi-junction solar cells have a high overall power conversion efficiency (>30%) which compares favorably to amorphous silicon, CIGS and bulk heterojunction photovoltaic devices which are limited to<10%. Recent advances in manufacturing of Inverted Metamorphic Multi-junction (IMM) solar cells have opened new opportunities to greatly improve the specific power of the devices by means of removal of the epitaxial substrate. To date, flexible high efficiency IMMs have been fabricated and demonstrated in the framework of a space cell with IMMs released from the epitaxial substrate onto traditional coverglass. An increasing larger body of research is aimed at populating large area "blankets" with IMMs and this has led to a number of approaches that includes removal of rigid epitaxy growth substrates and adherence to lightweight flexible webs or polymer films. So far, there is no economic and fast approach to efficiently remove the growth substrate.Nanohmics proposes to develop a non-destructive approach for transfer of IMM solar devices from rigid growth substrates into flexible high specific power solar cell blankets. The method will enable integration of state-of-the-art photovoltaics into a large area conformal "blanket" for space applications. The proposed effort will include development of a novel sacrificial intermediate layer on which high efficiency IMM photovoltaics are epitaxially deposited.