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Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business Tech Transfer

Novel Solar Cell Nanotechnology for Improved Efficiency and Radiation Hardness, Phase II

Completed Technology Project

Project Description

Novel Solar Cell Nanotechnology for Improved Efficiency and Radiation Hardness, Phase II
Significant improvements in photovoltaic materials and systems are required to enable NASA future exploration missions. In this project, CFD Research Corporation (CFDRC) with University of California Riverside (UCR), Rochester Institute of Technology, and International Photonics will: 1) develop and provide reliable, validated computational tools for assessment, design, and optimization of novel nanostructures based on Quantum Dots (QD) for future nano-devices for space applications; 2) investigate, design, and demonstrate new photovoltaic (PV) structures based on QD nanotechnology, with improved efficiency and radiation hardness. The inherently radiation tolerant quantum dots of variable sizes maximize absorption of different light wavelengths ("multicolor" cell), which dramatically improves photovoltaic efficiency and diminishes the radiation-induced degradation. Phase 1 included development of numerical tools for modeling electron-phonon transport in quantum-dot for photovoltaic applications, using experimental data from UCR Nano-Device Laboratory for validation and calibration of the models, computational and experimental proof-of-concept. In Phase 2, the new QD models will be integrated into CFDRC's advanced photonic-electronic device simulator and used for further optimization of QD superlattices. Novel QD photovoltaic nano-engineered materials and designs will be down-selected for further development to the point of testable prototypes. They will be fabricated and demonstrated by detailed electrical characterization and radiation testing. 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.