Novel, High-Efficiency, Light-weight, Flexible Solar Cells as Electrical Power Generation Source

Period of Performance: 05/11/2016 - 12/30/2016


Phase 1 STTR

Recipient Firm

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

Research Institution

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


MicroLink Devices proposes to integrate its novel, high-efficiency, lightweight, and flexible solar sheet technology to a small unmanned aircraft system (UAS) that will provide a significant source of power, enabling long endurance flights spanning one full day to several days of continuous operation. This will be a breakthrough technology that will enhance the performance and utility of the Navys small UAS fleet. This project will leverage MicroLinks recent advances in inverted metamorphic (IMM) multi-junction epitaxial lift-off (ELO) solar cell technology which is an advanced, low cost GaAs-based process. The unique nature of the ELO solar cells is unlike any other thin film solar technology in that the resulting solar cells are not only ultrathin and flexible but also highly efficient with solar efficiency exceeding 30% AM1.5 for large area solar cells 20 cm2 in size. In comparison to organic and emerging perovskite solar technologies, MicroLinks ELO solar cells have long-term stability with the ability to operate in a wider temperature range (i.e. desert to polar environments) while being exposed to elevated levels of moisture and humidity (i.e. tropical climates) with no degradation in performance even after years of use.