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Grant
Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Air Force | Program: STTR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 100.00K | Year: 2010

Magnolia Solar proposes to develop an innovative high efficiency single junction solar cell working with Prof. Diana Huffaker and her group and utilizing multi photon absorption in InAsSb/AlAsSb quantum dot solar cells. The proposed structure has unique qualities required by Intermediate band solar cell theory to achieve ultra high conversion efficiency. This system has a potential to achieve efficiencies over 50% under concentrated light conditions. The proposed structure has optimum band alignment as well as bandgap for Quantum dot and barrier materials. InAsSb QDs in AlAsSb barriers forms a type II band alignment which has long carrier life times and hence high carrier extraction efficiencies are possible. During the Phase I STTR effort, we will synthesize InAsSb dots with excellent structural and optical properties and demonstrate the technical feasibility of InAsSb Quantum Dot solar cells. Device simulation and modeling will help supplement the device optimization work. Our broad experience in band engineering, simulation and device design will help obtain optimum material properties needed for demonstrating multi-photon solar cells. BENEFIT: The terrestrial, Defense and Spacecraft power photovoltaic markets provide a significant commercial opportunity for the technology developed during this SBIR effort. The worldwide PV market generates over $4.5 billion (US) per year in revenue and has been growing at over 30% annually since the late 1990s. The emphasis on renewal energy and more of the defense energy needs will grow over the next decade and is expected to grow to over 100 Billion in the next ten years. Continued growth in the commercial PV market is currently being hampered by market down turn, while space-based PV systems will utilize technologies that improve radiation hardness, operating temperature range, efficiency, and specific power. Our technology development and commercialization strategy involves several distinct steps. Magnolia has detailed the tremendous long term benefits of increasing the efficiency of Solar cells for terrestrial applications. In addition use of the micro-concentrators also provides a means of inserting Quantum Dot-based solar cells with innovative nanostructured coatings into the renewable energy market.


Grant
Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Air Force | Program: STTR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 750.00K | Year: 2012

ABSTRACT: Magnolia Solar proposes to develop an innovative high-efficiency, single-junction solar cell in collaboration with Prof. Diana Huffaker and her group by utilizing multi-photon absorption processes in InAsSb/AlAsSb quantum dot structures. The proposed device structure satisfies the unique qualities required by intermediate band solar cell theory to achieve ultra-high conversion efficiency. This system has a potential to achieve efficiencies over 50% under concentrated light conditions. The proposed structure has the optimum band alignment and bandgap combination for quantum dot and barrier materials in a quantum dot solar cell. InAsSb quantum dots in AlAsSb barriers form a type II band alignment, which has long carrier life times that enable high carrier extraction efficiencies. During the Phase I STTR effort, we synthesized InAsSb dots with excellent structural and optical properties and demonstrated the technical feasibility of InAsSb quantum dot solar cells. Phase II efforts will focus on demonstrating and optimizing multi-photon solar cells, leveraging our team"s broad experience in band gap engineering, simulation, light trapping, and device design. BENEFIT: Photovoltaic (PV) devices can provide a mobile source of electrical power for a variety of military applications in both space and terrestrial environments. Many of these mobile power applications can directly benefit from enhancements in the efficiency of the photovoltaic devices. The terrestrial, defense, and spacecraft power photovoltaic markets provide a significant commercial opportunity for the technology developed during this STTR effort. The worldwide PV market generates over $4.5 billion (US) per year in revenue and has been growing at over 30% annually since the late 1990s. Space-based PV systems will utilize technologies that improve radiation hardness, operating temperature range, efficiency, and specific power. Our technology development and commercialization strategy involves several distinct steps. Magnolia has detailed the tremendous long term benefits of increasing the efficiency of solar cells for terrestrial applications. In addition use of the micro-concentrators also provides a means of inserting quantum dot-based solar cells with innovative nanostructured coatings into the renewable energy market.


Welser R.E.,Magnolia Solar, Inc.
Proceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering | Year: 2012

While radiative recombination is a well-known intrinsic loss mechanism in photovoltaic devices, nonradiative recombination mechanisms typically dominate compound semiconductor diode currents and limit the performance of even state-of-the-art devices. However, recent advances in device structure design have allowed quantum well structures to begin reaching the radiative limits of dark current operation. In this work, a novel extended heterojunction structure is employed in InGaAs quantum well devices to reduce non-radiative recombination and expose the limiting n=1 radiative component of the diode current. Short circuit current versus open circuit voltage curves derived from illuminated currentvoltage measurements indicate that the underlying dark diode currents of the InGaAs quantum well devices vary with well thickness and emission energy. Analysis of the extracted n=1 saturation current densities indicate that these high-voltage InGaAs quantum well devices are operating in a regime of suppressed radiative recombination. © 2012 SPIE.


Patent
Magnolia Solar, Inc. | Date: 2015-07-29

A material structure and device design are provided that produce efficient photovoltaic power conversion. Materials of different energy gap are combined in the depletion region of a semiconductor junction. A wider energy gap barrier layer is positioned to reduce the diode dark current by suppressing both carrier injection across the junction and recombination rates within the junction. Light guiding layers are placed above and below the active region of the device in order to enhance optical absorption in the lower energy gap material.


Grant
Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Air Force | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 100.00K | Year: 2010

The epitaxial liftoff of multi-junction structures provides a means to build photovoltaic devices that are flexible, light weight, and highly efficient. However, current approaches to increasing the AM0 efficiency of multi-junction structures are reaching practical limitations due to the complexity of the device design. The objective of this Phase I SBIR program is to develop and validate innovative designs based upon third generation photovoltaic device concepts. By combining wide and narrow band gap material in one p-n junction, quantum structured solar cells can increase the current and the voltage output of each of the subcells within a multi-junction solar cell. The short-term focus of this SBIR project will be on using quantum structures to enhance the performance of InGaP-based solar cells typically used as the top subcell in multi-junction structures. Ultimately our approach promises to provide a pathway for obtaining, thin, flexible, single-junction solar cells with AM0 efficiency approaching 40%. BENEFIT: Light weight and highly efficient solar cells are needed to maximize the power generating capability of space platforms. Ground-based defense applications can also require photovoltaic power arrays capable of operating over a wide range of temperature and solar spectrum conditions. Conventional multijunction solar cells can provide high conversion efficiencies, but only under limited environmental conditions. The objective of this SBIR program is to develop a flexible yet ultra-high efficient solar cell that can approach 40% efficiency over a wide range of operating conditions. The technology developed during this program is expected to have immediate market opportunities for defense applications The SBIR project described here is also part of a larger effort to realize the ultimate objective of third generation photovoltaics, namely ultra-high conversion efficiency at low costs. The wider operating conditions enabled by single-junction quantum solar cells could substantially enhance the overall performance of terrestrial concentrator photovoltaic systems. This technology could thus accelerate the adoption of photovoltaics into the renewable energy market to address the world’s growing energy needs without degrading the environment. In addition to its potential commercial value and social benefits, this SBIR program will enhance the technical understanding of quantum well devices.


Grant
Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Air Force | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 750.00K | Year: 2011

ABSTRACT: The epitaxial liftoff of multi-junction structures provides a means to build photovoltaic devices that are flexible, light weight, and highly efficient. However, current approaches to increasing the AM0 efficiency of multi-junction structures are reaching practical limitations due to the complexity of the device design. The objective of this Phase II SBIR program is to develop innovative designs based upon third generation photovoltaic device concepts. By combining wide and narrow band gap material within each p-n junction, quantum-structured solar cells can increase the current and the voltage output of each of the subcells within a multi-junction solar cell. Ultimately our approach provides a pathway for obtaining, thin, flexible, single-junction solar cells with AM0 efficiency approaching 40%. BENEFIT: Photovoltaic (PV) devices can provide a mobile source of electrical power for a variety of military applications in both space and terrestrial environments. Many of these mobile power applications can directly benefit from enhancements in the efficiency of the photovoltaic devices. In particular, flexible, lightweight, high-efficiency solar cells are needed to maximize the power generating capability of space platforms. Ground-based and air-based defense applications can also benefit from the development of flexible, lightweight cells with improved efficiency. The technology developed during this program is expected to have immediate market opportunities for defense applications. The SBIR project described here is also part of a larger effort to realize the ultimate objective of third generation photovoltaics, namely ultra-high conversion efficiency at low costs for terrestrial photovoltaic power. Ultra-high efficiency solar cells could substantially enhance the overall performance of terrestrial concentrator photovoltaic systems. This technology could thus accelerate the adoption of photovoltaics into the renewable energy market to address the world"s growing energy needs without degrading the environment. In addition to its potential commercial value and social benefits, this SBIR program will enhance the technical understanding of quantum-structured devices.


Grant
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 100.00K | Year: 2011

The long-term objective of this program is to develop flexible, lightweight, single-junction solar cells using quantum structured designs that can achieve ultra-high efficiencies (approaching 45%) while avoiding the current matching issues that plague high-efficiency multi-junction devices. Ultra-low dark currents and record-high open circuit voltages have recently been achieved with a novel III-V material structure that includes both an InGaAs quantum well absorber and an extended wide band gap emitter. By enhancing absorption in the narrow band gap well, power conversion efficiencies in single-junction quantum solar cells can potentially exceed those of multi-junction photovoltaic devices. The objective of the Phase I SBIR effort is to design and prototype a high performance quantum well solar cell device incorporating advanced light trapping techniques. To enhance light trapping, we will leverage both an established epitaxial liftoff process and unique optical coatings to scatter light laterally into waveguide modes within the InGaAs well region of the device.


Patent
Magnolia Solar, Inc. and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute | Date: 2010-11-15

Designs for ultra-high, broadband transmittance through windows over a wide range of incident angles are disclosed. The improvements in transmittance result from coating the windows with a new class of materials consisting of porous nanorods. A high transmittance optical window comprises a transparent substrate coated on one or both sides with a multiple layer coating. Each multiple layer coating includes optical films with a refractive index intermediate between the refractive index of the transparent substrate and air. The optical coatings are applied using an oblique-angle deposition material synthesis technique. The coating can be performed by depositing porous SiO_(2 )layers using oblique angle deposition. The high transmittance window coated with the multiple layer coating exhibits reduced reflectance and improved transmittance, as compared to an uncoated transparent substrate.


Ultra-high reflectivity is projected for internal reflectors comprised of a metal film and nanostructured transparent conductive oxide (TCO) bi-layer on the back side of a semiconductor device. Oblique-angle deposition can be used to fabricate indium tin oxide (ITO) and other TCO optical thin-film coatings with a porous, columnar nanostructure. The resulting low-n dielectric films can then be employed as part of a conductive omni-directional reflector (ODR) structure capable of achieving high internal reflectivity over a broad spectrum of wavelengths and a wide range of angles. In addition, the dimensions and geometry of the nanostructured, low-n TCO films can be adjusted to enable diffuse reflections via Mie scattering. Diffuse ODR structures enhance the performance of light trapping and light guiding structures in photonic devices.


ROGERS, AR--(Marketwired - February 08, 2017) - Ecoark Holdings, Inc. ( : EARK), a provider of a growing suite of proprietary technologies and services that drive sustainability and facilitate sustainable growth for a wide range of clients, today announced its subsidiary Magnolia Solar, Inc. has recently been awarded a new U.S. patent by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). The U.S. Patent No 9,543,456 issued on January 10, 2017 relates to the development of "Multijunction Solar Cell Employing Extended Heterojunction and Step Graded Antireflection Structures and Methods of constructing the same." Magnolia Solar is actively working on the development of flexible, lightweight, high-efficiency solar cell technologies for a wide range of portable power applications. Magnolia Solar's technology portfolio includes nanostructured antireflection coatings, advanced thin-film photovoltaic absorber structures, and novel, low-cost manufacturing processes. Thin-film solar cells are an attractive source of portable and mobile power, as they can be integrated into flexible, lightweight photovoltaic modules that can operate in both terrestrial and space environments. Magnolia Solar has approximately 15 additional patent applications that are at various stages of review at the U.S. Patent Office. Magnolia Solar, Inc. is the assignee of six U.S. Patents. These issued patents describe and protect Magnolia's innovations in the field of high-performance, lightweight flexible solar cells for photovoltaic applications, and expands the intellectual property portfolio to these issued patents. "We have been aggressively pursuing more than a dozen U.S. patent applications as a means to protect our intellectual property in the field of flexible photovoltaics and nanostructured Antireflection Coating technologies," said Dr. Ashok K. Sood, President of Magnolia Solar. "These patents pertain to novel device structures for increasing the efficiency of lightweight, high-performance thin-film solar cells. These novel structures employ nanostructured absorbers and leverage optical light trapping mechanisms to increase the current output of thin-film solar cells." "We are proud of the work of Dr. Sood and the team at Magnolia Solar, and for the tremendous accomplishment that the issuance of this new U.S. patent represents," said Randy May, Chairman and CEO, Ecoark Holdings, Inc. "There is significant opportunity within the solar industry as end users search for more efficient technologies, and we will continue to build our technologies to meet those needs and further penetrate the market moving forward." Based in Rogers, AR and founded in 2011, Ecoark Holdings, Inc. is a growth-oriented company based in the retail and logistics hub of Northwest Arkansas. Ecoark's portfolio of technology solutions increase operational visibility and improve organizational transparency for a wide range of corporate clients. Ecoark's technologies fight waste in Operations, Logistics, and Supply Chains across the evolving global economy. Ecoark's portfolio of companies and technologies work to integrate people, processes, and data in order to overcome ingrained operational hurdles and create new revenue streams. Ecoark's vision is to expose the cycles of waste that reduce efficiency and cost effectiveness across the business landscape. Ecoark's strategically acquired subsidiaries have anticipated and responded to key economic factors impacting every business today. Ecoark addresses these vital economic factors through four active subsidiaries, Zest Labs, Eco3d, Pioneer Products, and Magnolia Solar. For more information, please visit http://www.ecoarkusa.com/. This release contains forward-looking statements, including, without limitation, statements concerning our business and possible or assumed future results of operations. Our actual results could differ materially from those anticipated in the forward-looking statements for many reasons including: our ability to continue as a going concern; adverse economic changes affecting markets we serve; competition in our markets and industry segments; our timing and the profitability of entering new markets; greater than expected costs, customer acceptance of our products or difficulties related to our integration of the businesses we may acquire; and other risks and uncertainties as may be detailed from time to time in our public announcements and SEC filings. Although we believe the expectations reflected in the forward-looking statements are reasonable, they relate only to events as of the date on which the statements are made, and our future results, levels of activity, performance or achievements may not meet these expectations. We do not intend to update any of the forward-looking statements after the date of this document to conform these statements to actual results or to changes in our expectations, except as required by law.

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