High-Efficiency, Silicon Germanium Quantum Well Solar Cell
Researchers at NASA Langley Research Center are developing silicon germanium quantum well solar cells. These solar cells would have applications for NASA as well as commercial markets. Unlike conventional silicon solar cells, the new technology is built on a sapphire substrate so it can be lit from the backside. For NASA, a more efficient solar cell would mean less weight, and would take up less volume for spacecraft and any other power applications. That feature also translates into many smaller marketable devices that now have silicon solar cell power requirements.