Clean Technology 2009

Novel 3-D Nanostructure Arrays for Energy Conversion

R. Wind, D. Routkevitch
Synkera Technologies Inc, US

Keywords: energy conversion, photovoltaics, 3-generation, solar cells, nanomaterials


Advanced and yet cost-competitive photovoltaic (PV) materials are needed to reduce the system cost, maximize the conversion efficiency. maximize power density and extend the lifetime of solar cells for terrestrial and space applications. Synkera Technologies is developing radiation-stable, long lifetime, highly efficient and cost-effective PVs. Our innovative PV material architecture is comprised of a high-density arrays of 3-D nanoscale heterojunctions designed to: (1) increase the active area by at least two orders of magnitude for higher energy density; (2) optimize light absorption with continuously graded band gap; and (3) enable rapid charge separation and minimize recombination in very thin absorbing layers. Anticipated benefits include: · Theoretical efficiency limit as high as 60% due to 3-D nanojunction array architecture. · High power density, lightweight flexible substrates. · Low cost enabled by inexpensive materials and fully scalable production processes. · Radiation and temperature stability due to the use of inorganic nanocomposite materials. · Mechanical robustness and reliability; long lifetime. This approach enables a family of novel PV materials with unmatched efficiency, while using processes that are scalable to low cost production. This presentation will overview our efforts in demonstrating the proposed materials in photovoltaic and photoelectrochemical energy conversion.
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