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SiGeSn Based Photovoltaic Devices for Space Applications University of Arkansas/NASA Glenn Research Center, Space Technology Mission Directorate

A summary of normalized room temperature Germanium-Tin (GeSn) Photoluminescence (PL) with Sn composition from 0 to 11%. (Note, the low signal noise ratio for samples with Sn composition higher than 8% is due to switching from liquid nitrogen cooled Indium-Gallium-Gallium (InGaAs) detector to a thermoelectrically cooled Lead-Sulfur (PbS) detector.

Dr. Shui-Qing (Fisher) Yu, Science PI, Associate Prof. of Electrical Engineering, University of Arkansas

Dr. Sang H. Choi, NASA Technical Monitor, Senior Scientist, NASA Langley Research Center

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NASA EPSCoR Stimuli 2014 -15

Future space science and human exploration missions will require solar power photovoltaic (PV) systems with significantly higher performance in efficiency and radiation tolerance, and at lower cost. Although the Space Power and Energy Storage Roadmap recently published by NASA has set an aggressive goal for space PV to be 35%, 40%, and 45% more efficient within 5, 10 and 15 years, respectively, the prevailing triple-junction PV technology has reached its maximum potential. Our world-class team of researchers in the field of germanium-tin (GeSn) technology will develop the next generation, high-efficiency, four-junction solar cells for space applications. They’ll design silicongermanium-tin(SiGeSn)-based PV devices that can be monolithically integrated with existing triple-junction cells by providing an optimized 1eV bandgap cell. This approach provides both boosted performance and a low-cost manufacturing route. The additional benefit is the high radiation tolerance due to the use of a SiGeSn material system. The team proposes to extend the concept of MJ solar cells to develop SiGeSn two-junction thermophotovoltaic devices which could provide radioisotope power systems with much higher energy conversion efficiency than thermoelectric converters. The team includes four researchers from three Arkansas institutions and is supported by four experts from three NASA research centers and four industry partners, in which NASA Glenn Research center and SolAero (formerly Emcore) are the key research and manufacture sites for space PV in the U.S. Team members are worldleading researchers and currently hold most “world records” on GeSn material growth and device performance.

EPSCoR Stimuli 2014-15  

NASA Office of Education’s Aerospace Research & Career Development (ARCD) is pleased to release NASA EPSCoR Stimuli, a collection of univers...

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