Sunovia Energy Technologies Inc. and its partner, EPIR Technologies Inc., have been awarded a second contract by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to provide improved infrared detectors to be used for inspection and characterization of infrared materials and products.
These tools, known as Fourier transform infrared materials characterization and inspection tools, are used to characterize semiconductor material properties in a nondestructive fashion and are especially useful in semiconductor production environments to inspect the product for quality control without damaging it, according to the companies.
The infrared detectors to be produced under the DOE contract are based on II-VI materials (i.e., formulated from elements in the second and sixth columns of the periodic table), similar to those used in ultra-high-efficiency multi-junction solar cells that are being jointly developed by Sunovia and EPIR, also under DOE sponsorship.
It is believed that these ultra-high-efficiency solar cells will outperform the most efficient solar cells produced today at a fraction of their cost.
‘While II-VI materials have been the state-of-the-art in infrared detection for years, they are just now beginning to impact the solar industry with the emergence of thin-film CdTe technology,’ says Dr. Siva Sivananthan, founder and CEO of EPIR.
‘The single-crystal II-VI materials we have developed for infrared applications can be tuned more precisely and to a wider degree than those of the materials currently used in ultra-high-efficiency solar cells,’ Sivanathan continues. ‘This allows us to more efficiently split the solar spectrum and thus achieve higher-performance solar cells.’
SOURCE: Sunovia Energy Technologies Inc.