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Monte Carlo analysis of a monolithic interconnected module with a back surface reflector

Description: Recently, the photon Monte Carlo code, RACER-X, was modified to include wave-length dependent absorption coefficients and indices of refraction. This work was done in an effort to increase the code`s capabilities to be more applicable to a wider range of problems. These new features make RACER-X useful for analyzing devices like monolithic interconnected modules (MIMs) which have etched surface features and incorporates a back surface reflector (BSR) for spectral control. A series of calculations were performed on various MIM structures to determine the impact that surface features and component reflectivities have on spectral utilization. The traditional concern of cavity photonics is replaced with intra-cell photonics in the MIM design. Like the cavity photonic problems previously discussed, small changes in optical properties and/or geometry can lead to large changes in spectral utilization. The calculations show that seemingly innocuous surface features (e.g., trenches and grid lines) can significantly reduce the spectral utilization due to the non-normal incident photon flux. Photons that enter the device through a trench edge are refracted onto a trajectory where they will not escape. This leads to a reduction in the number of reflected below bandgap photons that return to the radiator and reduce the spectral utilization. In addition, trenches expose a lateral conduction layer in this particular series of calculations which increase the absorption of above bandgap photons in inactive material.
Date: October 1, 1998
Creator: Ballinger, C.T.; Charache, G.W. & Murray, C.S.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Thermionic converter with differentially heated cesium-oxygen source and method of operation

Description: A thermionic converter having an emitter, a collector, and a source of cesium vapor is provided, wherein the source of cesium vapor is differentially heated so that said source has a hotter end and a cooler end, with cesium vapor evaporating from said hotter end into the space between the emitter and the collector and with cesium vapor condensing at said cooler end. The condensed cesium vapor migrates through a porous element from the cooler end to the hotter end.
Date: December 1, 1998
Creator: Rasor, N.S.; Riley, D.R.; Murray, C.S. & Geller, C.B.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Spectral utilization in thermophotovoltaic devices

Description: Multilayer assemblies of epitaxially-grown, III-V semiconductor materials are being investigated for use in thermophotovoltaic (TPV) energy conversion applications. It has been observed that thick, highly-doped semiconductor layers within cell architectures dominate the parasitic free-carrier absorption (FCA) of devices at wavelengths above the bandgap of the semiconductor material. In this work, the wavelength-dependent, free-carrier absorption of p- and n-type InGaAs layers grown epitaxially onto semi-insulating (SI) InP substrates has been measured and related to the total absorption of long-wavelength photons in thermophotovoltaic devices. The optical responses of the TPV cells are then used in the calculation of spectral utilization factors and device efficiencies.
Date: December 31, 1997
Creator: Clevenger, M.B. & Murray, C.S.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Experimental and theoretical studies of a high temperature cesium-barium tacitron, with application to low voltage-high current inversion. Final report, April 1, 1993--February 28, 1994

Description: A low voltage/high current switch refer-red as ``Cs-Ba tacitron`` is studied for use as a dc to ac inverter in high temperature and/or ionizing radiation environments. The operational characteristics of the Cs-Ba tacitron as a switch were investigated experimentally in three modes: (a) breakdown mode, (b) I-V mode, and (c) current modulation mode. Operation parameters measured include switching frequencies up to 20 kHz, hold-off voltages up to 200 V, current densities in excess of 15 A/CM{sup 2}, switch power density of 1 kW/cm{sup 2}, and a switching efficiency in excess of 90 % at collector voltages greater than 30 V. Also, if the discharge current is circuit limited to a value below the maximum thermal emission current density, the voltage drop is constant and below 3 V.
Date: February 1, 1994
Creator: Murray, C. S. & El-Genk, M. S.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Growth and properties of InGaAs/FeAl/InAlAs/InP heterostructures for buried reflector/interconnect applications in InGaAs thermophotovoltaic devices

Description: Thermophotovoltaic cells consisting of InGaAs active layers are of extreme promise for high efficiency, low bandgap TPV conversion. In the monolithic interconnected module configuration, the presence of the InGaAs lateral conduction layer (LCL) necessary for the series connection between TPV cells results in undesirable free carrier absorption, causing a tradeoff between series resistance and optical absorption losses in the infrared. A potential alternative is to replace the LCL with an epitaxial metal layer that would provide a low-resistance interconnect while not suffering from free carrier absorption. The internal metal layer would also serve as an efficient, panchromatic back surface reflector, providing the additional advantage of increased effective optical thickness of the InGaAs cell. In this paper, the authors present the first results on the growth and development of buried epitaxial metal layers for TPV applications. High quality, single crystal, epitaxial Fe{sub x}Al{sub 1{minus}x} layers were grown on InAlAs/InP substrates, having compositions in the range x = 0.40--0.80. Epitaxial metal layers up to 1,000 {angstrom} in thickness were achieved, with excellent uniformity over large areas and atomically smooth surfaces. X-ray diffraction studies indicate that all FeAl layers are strained with respect to the substrate, for the entire composition range studied and for all thicknesses. The FeAl layers exhibit excellent resistance characteristics, with resistivities from 60 {micro}ohm-cm to 100 {micro}ohm-cm, indicating that interface scattering has a negligible effect on lateral conductivity. Reflectance measurements show that the FeAl thickness must be at least 1,000 {angstrom} to achieve > 90% reflection in the infrared.
Date: November 1, 1998
Creator: Ringel, S.A.; Sacks, R.N.; Qin, L.; Clevenger, M.B. & Murray, C.S.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Materials and process development for the monolithic interconnected module (MIM) InGaAs/InP TPV cells

Description: Four major components of a thermophotovoltaic (TPV) energy conversion system are a heat source, a graybody or a selective emitter, spectrum shaping elements such as filters, and photovoltaic (PV) cells. One approach to achieving a high voltage/low current configuration is to fabricate a device, where small area PV cells are monolithically series connected. The authors have termed this device a monolithic interconnected module (MIM). A MIM device has other advantages over conventional one-junction cells, such as simplified array interconnections and heat-sinking, and radiation recycling capability via a back surface reflector (BSR). The authors confine the contents of this article to the MIM materials, process development, and some optical results. The successful fabrication of InGaAs/InP MIM devices entails the development and optimization of several key components and processes. These include: isolation trench via geometry, selective chemical etching, contact and interconnect metallization, dielectric isolation barrier, back surface reflector (BSR), and anti-reflection (AR) coating. The selection, development, and testing of the materials and processes described above for MIM fabrication will be described.
Date: June 1, 1997
Creator: Fatemi, N.S.; Jenkins, P.P.; Hoffman, R.W. Jr.; Weizer, V.G.; Wilt, D.M.; Murray, C.S. et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Optical properties of thin semiconductor device structures with reflective back-surface layers

Description: Ultrathin semiconductor device structures incorporating reflective internal or back surface layers have been investigated recently as a means of improving photon recuperation, eliminating losses associated with free carrier absorption in conductive substrates and increasing the above bandgap optical thickness of thermophotovoltaic device structures. However, optical losses in the form of resonance absorptions in these ultrathin devices have been observed. This behavior in cells incorporating epitaxially grown FeAl layers and in devices that lack a substrate but have a back-surface reflector (BSR) at the rear of the active layers has been studied experimentally and modeled effectively. For thermophotovoltaic devices, these resonances represent a significant loss mechanism since the wavelengths at which they occur are defined by the active TPV cell thickness of {approximately} 2--5 microns and are in a spectral range of significant energy content for thermal radiators. This study demonstrates that ultrathin semiconductor structures that are clad by such highly reflective layers or by films with largely different indices of refraction display resonance absorptions that can only be overcome through the implementation of some external spectral control strategy. Effective broadband, below-bandgap spectral control using a back-surface reflector is only achievable using a large separation between the TPV active layers and the back-surface reflector.
Date: November 1, 1998
Creator: Clevenger, M.B.; Murray, C.S.; Ringel, S.A.; Sachs, R.N.; Qin, L.; Charache, G.W. et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

High Efficiency Thermionics (HET-IV) and Converter Advancement (CAP) programs. Final reports

Description: This report contains the final report of the High Efficiency Thermionics (HET-IV) Program, Attachment A, performed at Rasor Associates, Inc. (RAI); and the final report of the Converter Advancement Program (CAP), performed at the Bettis Atomic Power Laboratory, Attachment B. The phenomenology of cesium-oxygen thermionic converters was elucidated in these programs, and the factors that had prevented the achievement of stable, enhanced cesium-oxygen converter performance for the previous thirty years were identified. Based on these discoveries, cesium-oxygen vapor sources were developed that achieved stable performance with factor-of-two improvements in power density and thermal efficiency, relative to conventional, cesium-only ignited mode thermionic converters. Key achievements of the HET-IV/CAP programs are as follows: a new technique for measuring minute traces of oxygen in cesium atmospheres; the determination of the proper range of oxygen partial pressures for optimum converter performance--10{sup {minus}7} to 10{sup {minus}9} torr; the discovery, and analysis of the cesium-oxygen liquid migration and compositional segregation phenomena; the successful use of capillary forces to contain the migration phenomenon; the use of differential heating to control compositional segregation, and induce vapor circulation; the development of mechanically and chemically stable, porous reservoir structures; the development of precise, in situ oxygen charging methods; stable improvements in emitter performance, up to effective emitter bare work functions of 5.4 eV; stable improvements in barrier index, to value below 1.8 Volts; the development of detailed microscopic models for cesium-oxygen reservoir dynamics and collector work function behavior; and the discovery of new relationships between electrode geometry and Schock Instability.
Date: April 1996
Creator: Geller, C. B.; Murray, C. S.; Riley, D. R.; Desplat, J. L.; Hansen, L. K.; Hatch, G. L. et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

InGaAs monolithic interconnected modules (MIM)

Description: A monolithic interconnected module (MIM) structure has been developed for thermophotovoltaic (TPV) applications. The MIM device consists of many individual InGaAs cells series-connected on a single semi-insulating (S.I.) InP substrate. An infrared (IR) back surface reflector (BSR), placed on the rear surface of the substrate, returns the unused portion of the TPV radiator output spectrum back to the emitter for recycling, thereby providing for high system efficiencies. Also, the use of a BSR obviates the need to use a separate filtering element. As a result, MIMs are exposed to the entire emitter output, thereby maximizing output power density. MIMs with an active area of 1 x 1-cm were comprised of 15 cells monolithically connected in series. Both lattice-matched and lattice-mismatched InGaAs/InP devices were produced, with bandgaps of 0.74 and 0.55 eV, respectively. The 0.74-eV modules demonstrated an open-circuit voltage (Voc) of 6.158 V and a fill factor of 74.2% at a short-circuit current (Jsc) of 842 mA/cm{sup 2}, under flashlamp testing. The 0.55-eV modules demonstrated a Voc of 4.849 V and a fill factor of 57.8% at a Jsc of 3.87 A/cm{sup 2}. IR reflectance measurements (i.e., {lambda} > 2 {micro}m) of these devices indicated a reflectivity of {ge} 83%. Latest electrical and optical performance results for the MIMs will be presented.
Date: December 31, 1997
Creator: Fatemi, N.S.; Jenkins, P.P.; Weizer, V.G.; Hoffman, R.W. Jr.; Wilt, D.M.; Scheiman, D. et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Electrical and optical performance characteristics of 0.74eV p/n InGaAs monolithic interconnected modules

Description: There has been a traditional trade-off in thermophotovoltaic (TPV) energy conversion development between system efficiency and power density. This trade-off originates from the use of front surface spectral controls such as selective emitters and various types of filters. A monolithic interconnected module (MIM) structure has been developed which allows for both high power densities and high system efficiencies. The MIM device consists of many individual indium gallium arsenide (InGaAs) cells series-connected on a single semi-insulating indium phosphide (InP) substrate. The MIM is exposed to the entire emitter output, thereby maximizing output power density. An infrared (IR) reflector placed on the rear surface of the substrate returns the unused portion of the emitter output spectrum back to the emitter for recycling, thereby providing for high system efficiencies. Initial MIM development has focused on a 1 cm{sup 2} device consisting of eight series interconnected cells. MIM devices, produced from 0.74 eV InGaAs, have demonstrated V{sub oc} = 3.2 volts, J{sub sc} = 70 mA/cm{sup 2} and a fill factor of 66% under flashlamp testing. Infrared (IR) reflectance measurements (> 2 {micro}m) of these devices indicate a reflectivity of > 82%. MIM devices produced from 0.55 eV InGaAs have also been demonstrated. In addition, conventional p/n InGaAs devices with record efficiencies (11.7% AM0) have been demonstrated.
Date: June 1, 1997
Creator: Wilt, D.M.; Weizer, V.G.; Fatemi, N.S.; Jenkins, P.P.; Hoffman, R.W. Jr.; Jain, R.K. et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

High-Performance, 0.6-eV, GA0.32In0.68As/In0.32P0.68 Thermophotovoltaic Converters and Monolithically Interconnected Modules

Description: Recent progress in the development of high-performance, 0.6-eV Ga0.32In0.68As/InAs0.32P0.68 thermophotovoltaic (TPV) converters and monolithically interconnected modules (MIMs) is described. The converter structure design is based on using a lattice-matched InAs0.32P0.68/Ga0.32In0.68As/InAs0.32P0.68 double-heterostructure (DH) device, which is grown lattice-mismatched on an InP substrate, with an intervening compositionally step-graded region of InAsyP1-y. The Ga0.32In0.68As alloy has a room-temperature band gap of {approx}0.6 eV and contains a p/n junction. The InAs0.32P0.68 layers have a room-temperature band gap of {approx}0.96 eV and serve as passivation/confinement layers for the Ga0.32In0.68As p/n junction. InAsyP1-y step grades have yielded DH converters with superior electronic quality and performance characteristics. Details of the microstructure of the converters are presented. Converters prepared for this work were grown by atmospheric-pressure metalorganic vapor-phase epitaxy (APMO VPE) and were processed using a combination of photolithography, wet-chemical etching, and conventional metal and insulator deposition techniques. Excellent performance characteristics have been demonstrated for the 0.6-eV TPV converters. Additionally, the implementation of MIM technology in these converters has been highly successful.
Date: December 15, 1998
Creator: Wanlass, M. W.; Carapella, J. J.; Duda, A.; Emery, K.; Gedvilas, L.; Moriarty, T. et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department