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Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business Tech Transfer

Photovoltaic Wire, Phase I

Completed Technology Project

Project Description

Photovoltaic Wire, Phase I
This Small Business Innovation Research Phase I project will investigate a new architecture for photovoltaic devices based on nanotechnology: photovoltaic wire. The device comprises an array of silicon nanowires about an aluminum core in a p-i-n junction structure. High conversion efficiency (> 20%) devices can be realized as a result of the high broadband absorption of the nanowire array structure arising from quantum dot-like effects using the periodicity of the nanowires in the array. This innovative device will make it possible to weave large two and three-dimensional photovoltaic panels that are light weight, can be stored in a small enclosure and have high power density in excess of 1000 W/kg. In addition, photovoltaic fabric power arrays can be directly integrated into many spacecraft subsystems such as space suits, instrumentation and solar propulsion systems. The low cost, high volume manufacturing processes used to build photovoltaic wire will allow the technology to be incorporated into a wide array of consumer applications in addition to high-end space systems. More »

Primary U.S. Work Locations and Key Partners

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This is a historic project that was completed before the creation of TechPort on October 1, 2012. Available data has been included. This record may contain less data than currently active projects.