Ultra-Lightweight, High-Efficiency Epitaxial Lift-Off Solar Cells and Arrays

Period of Performance: 09/09/2014 - 04/09/2015

$80K

Phase 1 STTR

Recipient Firm

Microlink Devices
6457 West Howard Street
Niles, IL 60714
Principal Investigator
Firm POC

Research Institution

University of Notre Dame
940 Grace Hall
Notre Dame, IN 46556
Institution POC

Abstract

MicroLink Devices and the University of Notre Dame propose to develop an ultra-lightweight, high-efficiency, GaAs-based, multi-junction solar cell that will be suitable for use in future platforms requiring very high specific power (>3.0 kW/kg) and very high areal power density (>370 W/m2). We will achieve this result by reducing the metal content of MicroLink s current inverted metamorphic (IMM), epitaxial lift-off (ELO) solar cell and replacing the metal with robust, low-density, polymer-based materials that retain the flexibility and durability of ELO solar cell at a fraction of its present weight. We will also develop processes that are compatible with the fabrication equipment necessary for high-volume production of new laminated ELO solar cells to be developed in this program. The specific power target for laminated cells at the conclusion of the Phase I effort is 2.0 kW/kg under 1-sun AM1.5G illumination, which will be achieved by enhancing the present ELO IMM solar cell structure with a new, ultra-lightweight metal/polymer-based support.