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Optical components such as lenses, glass windows, and prisms are subject to Fresnel reflection due to the mismatch between the refractive indices of the air and glass. An optical interface layer, i.e., antireflection (AR) layer, is needed to eliminate this unwanted reflection at the air/glass interface. Nanostructured broadband and wide-angle AR structures have been developed using a scalable self-assembly process. Ultra-high performance of the nanostructured AR coatings has been demonstrated on various substrates such as quartz, sapphire, polymer, and other materials typically employed in optical lenses. AR coatings on polycarbonate lead to optical transmittance enhancement from approximately 90% to almost 100% for the entire visible, and part of the near-infrared (NIR), band. The AR coatings have also been demonstrated on curved surfaces. AR coatings on n-BK7 lenses enable ultra-high light transmittance for the entire visible, and most of the NIR, spectrum. Nanostructured oxide layers with step-graded index profiles, deposited onto the optical elements of an optical system, can significantly increase sensitivity, and hence improve the overall performance of the system.
The impact of nanostructured broadband antireflection (AR) coatings on solar panel performance has been projected for a broad range of panel tilt angles at various locations. AR coated films have been integrated on test panels and the short-circuit current has been measured for the entire range of panel tilts. The integration of the AR coatings resulted in an increase in short-circuit current of the panels by eliminating front sheet reflection loss for a broad spectrum of light and wide angle of light incidence. The short-circuit current enhancement is 5% for normal light incidence and approximately 20% for off-angle light incidence. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) System Advisor Model (SAM) predicts that this AR coating can yield at least 6.5% improvement in solar panel annual power output. The greatest enhancement, approximately 14%, is predicted for vertical panels. The AR coating’s contributions to vertical mount panels and building-integrated solar panels are significant. This nanostructured broadband AR coating thus has the potential to lower the cost per watt of photovoltaic solar energy.
Flexible copper indium gallium diselenide (CIGS) solar cells on lightweight substrates can deliver high specific powers. Flexible lightweight CIGS solar cells are also primary candidates for building-integrated panels. In all applications, CIGS cells can greatly benefit from the application of broadband and wide-angle AR coating technology. The AR coatings can significantly improve the transmittance of light over the entire CIGS absorption band spectrum. Increased short-circuit current has been observed after integrating AR coated films onto baseline solar panels. NREL’s System Advisor Model (SAM) has predicted up to 14% higher annual power output on AR integrated vertical or building-integrated panels. The combination of lightweight flexible substrates and advanced device designs employing nanostructured optical coatings together have the potential to achieve flexible CIGS modules with enhanced efficiencies and specific power.
GaN /AlGaN transistors are being developed for a variety of RF electronic and high temperature electronics applications that will replace GaAs and Silicon based devices and amplifiers for commercial and military applications. In this paper, we present GaN/AlGaN based HEMT device architectures on SiC substrates with simulation and modeling results. The HEMT epitaxial layers were grown using RF Plasma Assisted MBE Technique. This approach has demonstrated very uniform epitaxial layers. The key to high performance HEMTs is the ability to grow high quality (Al)GaN buffer layers. Details of the electrical and optical characteristics of the HEMT wafers are presented. In addition, we will present results on an modified (ICP) etching technique that allows for low damage device processing and improved reliability.
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