MANHASSET, N.Y. Semiconductor materials supplier Emcore Corp. has signed a subcontract to participate in the Defense Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Very High Efficiency Solar Cell (VHSEC) program to more than double the efficiency of terrestrial solar cells within the next 50 months.
Emcore’s (Somerset, N.J.) Photovoltaic division was selected by the University of Delaware, the prime contractor for the DARPA VHSEC program, to develop advanced III-V multi-junction solar cells in Phase I of the program effort. In later phases, Emcore expects to develop a technology roadmap to enable lower fabrication costs for the very high efficiency solar cells.
In connection with this subcontract award, EMCORE also has joined a consortium, formed by the University of Delaware (UD), to succeed in meeting DARPA's program requirements for a high efficiency and low cost terrestrial solar product. The VHSEC program will provide up to $53 million in funding, to be awarded to program participants in various phases over the next several years.
The DARPA VHSEC program is the largest in the history of solar energy research, according to Rhone Resch, president of the Washington, D.C.-based Solar Energy Industries Association.
"I applaud DARPA for recognizing the tremendous potential of solar energy to provide reliable electricity to our troops in the field and to improve our energy security here at home," Resch said in a statement.