Conductive Transmissive Coating for Enhanced-Absorption Thin Film Solar Cells

Period of Performance: 01/29/2016 - 08/15/2016

$150K

Phase 1 STTR

Recipient Firm

Agiltron Corp.
15 Presidential Way Array
Woburn, MA 01801
Firm POC
Principal Investigator

Research Institution

Massachusetts Institute of Technology
77 Massachusetts ave
Cambridge, MA 02139
Institution POC

Abstract

Thin-film, lightweight, large-area flexible inorganic solar cells have shown promise to meet the militarys remote power needs on the battlefield. However, thin film solar cells normally have inferior conversion efficiencies due to limited absorption of sunlight by the thin active layer. Various approaches have been investigated to improve conversion efficiencies of thin film solar cells. Among these approaches, metallic nanostructure induced light scattering or trapping in the thin films have been demonstrated as an effective approach. Another approach to enhance solar cell efficiencies is a broadband, wide angle anti-reflective coating. Therefore, it will be ideal if a coating can perform multi-functions: top electrode, AR coating, and scattering long wavelengths into the solar cell. Leveraging its previous development of high performance flexible solar cells for Small Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, Agiltron proposes to develop nanostructured multi-functional top coatings for flexible thin film inorganic solar cells. The proposed top electrode can be readily applied on flexible thin film solar cells to achieve short-circuit current improvement by a factor of 25%. Phase I of this program is to demonstrate the technical feasibility through modeling, analysis, and experimentation.