Quantum and Nanostructure Enhanced Epitaxial Lift-Off Solar Cells

Period of Performance: 07/31/2015 - 10/31/2017

$750K

Phase 2 STTR

Recipient Firm

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

Research Institution

Rochester Institute of Technology
One Lomb Memorial Drive
Rochester, NY 14623
Institution POC

Abstract

The Air Force, will benefit from the radiation-hard, lightweight, flexible, high-efficiency solar cells, which will enable greater capability on future spacecraft. Spacecraft will have a longer lifetime in high radiation orbits; alternatively, less radiation shielding, and hence less weight, will be required to provide the same endurance available at present. In the longer term, lightweight, flexible large-area cells will allow the development of very large solar arrays, which will enable the deployment of satellites with a far higher power budget and a far greater set of capabilities than are currently available. This benefit applies to the other services - Army and Navy - as well, as all services employ spacecraft to achieve their mission. Another existing military requirement addressed by the technology proposed in the SBIR proposal is the requirement for portable power for remote systems, forward operating bases (FOBs), and dismounted soldiers and Marines. The military potential of the proposed technology is the realization of an extremely high-efficiency solar cell in a robust, flexible, lightweight format that can address this power requirement for these disparate operating conditions, and therefore several DoD agencies are likely to benefit from the results of this project. The Army and Marines will benefit from the proposed lightweight, flexible, high efficiency solar cells, which will enable portable PV blankets that can provide tactical power sources for FOBs and individual Warfighter and decrease or eliminate the requirement for fossil fuels and batteries. High efficiency long endurance aircraft (HALE) will also directly benefit from the results of this work. As the cost are brought down, lightweight portable chargers will also be possible.