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FOCUS Progress Update - MicroLink's Dual-Junction Photovoltaic Topping Device for High-Temp Operation

MicroLink and NRL’s project to develop a high-temperature solar cell has been underway since June 2014.  Initial development has focused primarily on investigating fundamental material science questions, as there is little published information on how the relevant materials will perform at 400 °C.  Additionally, the program has focused in the early stages on developing techniques for measuring device performance at high temperature, and methodologies for performing accelerated life testing.

One of the first issues to be examined has been to determine how to protect the top surface of the solar cell from dissociation of volatile elements at high temperature, which would have a detrimental effect on the crystalline structure and thus device performance.  The metal contacts on the solar cell are anticipated to present another likely cause of device failure at high temperature, and therefore preliminary investigations of various metal stacks have been undertaken to search for a stable, conductive contact.

During the upcoming quarters, the team will continue to focus on designing stable metallization.  The diffusion of elements within the solar cell structure at high temperature will also be investigated, to inform the choice of the most thermally-stable materials for the design.  Demonstrations of solar cell device measurements at 400 °C will commence.

Progress Updates: 
May 2015 Progress Update 

Related Program(s):