SBIR Phase I: Nanocable Structures - Material Growth and Characterization
This Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I project seeks to assess the feasibility of a completely new semiconductor radial heterostructure (e.g. CdTe/Au) with modulated composition and fabrication method for very low cost, highly efficient nanostructured solar cells application. This technology would enable the integration of the metal /semiconductor junction into nanostructures that perform like singular solar cells. The advantage is that each nanostructure has its own collector. Assembling these nanostructures into a solar cell array will allow maximizing the surface for light adsorption. Additionally, this specific design accelerates the flow carrier by providing an ordered, nanoscale tailored, interface with direct channels to electrodes. Scattering at the internal interfaces of the proposed nanostructures will increase the optical path through the cell and thus enhance the optical absorbance, allowing for a further reduction of the absorber thickness. Besides, semiconductor structures at extreme nanoscale dimensions exhibit distinctly different physical properties than the bulk material, such as optical band offset and increase in band gap. This novel nanostructured solar cell will use a template synthesis that will be easy to incorporate into today's thin film technology. The proposed technology is versatile and the nanostructures can be made on virtually any substrate (conductive, nonconductive, rigid, flexible etc). Employing of CdTe/Au nanocables opens new avenue in fabrication of new nanocomposite materials exhibiting quite a number of unique physical properties. The proposed technology is applicable to fabrication of solar cells with improved efficiency. The simple and cost-effective process can be performed at room temperature. It does not require any expensive clean room facilities.
Small Business Information at Submission:
2545 Boatman Avenue West Sacramento, CA 95691
Number of Employees: