Magnolia Solar Corp. announced that their wholly owned subsidiary, Magnolia Solar, Inc., has demonstrated InGaAs quantum well solar cells that operate at record high voltages. Magnolia Solar, Inc.’s Chief Technical Officer, Dr. Roger E. Welser, presented these groundbreaking technical results at the 37th IEEE Photovoltaic Specialist Conference (PVSC) in Seattle, Washington on June 23, 2011.

The presentation entitled “Reducing Non-Radiative and Radiative Recombination in InGaAs Quantum Well Solar Cells” was part of a special session on Quantum Engineered and Hybrid Devices. The presentation summarizes work done in collaboration with colleagues at Kopin Corporation. In addition, Dr. Welser co-chaired a session of the PVSC on the Physics and Engineering of Quantum Well and Super-lattice Devices.

Dr. Ashok K. Sood, President and CEO of Magnolia Solar, stated, “Quantum structured solar cells seek to harness a wide spectrum of photons at high voltages in a single-junction device by embedding low energy-gap wells within a high energy-gap matrix. Quantum well solar cells have the potential to deliver ultra-high power conversion efficiencies in single junction devices; efficiencies that in theory can approach 45 percent in un-concentrated sunlight over a wide range of environmental conditions. In his presentation at the Photovoltaic Specialist Conference, Dr. Welser reviews and summarizes Magnolia’s recent efforts to enhance the open circuit voltage of InGaAs quantum well solar cell structures by employing a patent-pending device structure. This technology is of great interest for defense and space-based applications, and the work presented at the PVSC has been funded by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). We also see future growth potential for this technology in the commercial marketplace, particularly in the area of concentrator-photovoltaic (CPV) solar panels for terrestrial power generation applications.”

Dr. Roger E. Welser noted, “Historically, the challenge for quantum structured solar cells has been to incorporate low energy-gap material without severely degrading the operating voltage of the photovoltaic device. In this work, we demonstrate record high open circuit voltages by employing a novel III-V material structure with an extended wide band gap emitter heterojunction. These results will enable quantum well solar cells to begin achieving their promised levels of performance. Nanostructured devices provide a means to decouple the usual dependence of short circuit current on open circuit voltage that limits conventional solar cell design.”

Based in Woburn, Massachusetts and Albany, New York, Magnolia Solar Corp. was founded in 2008 to develop and commercialize innovative new thin film solar cell technologies that employ nanostructured materials and designs. Higher current and voltage outputs are expected from thin film solar cells that combine the Company’s exclusive material structures with advanced optical coatings.

Magnolia Solar technology is capable of capturing a larger part of the solar spectrum to produce high efficiency solar cells. The technology incorporates a unique nanostructure-based antireflection coating technology to further increase the solar cell’s efficiency, which in turn reduces the cost per watt. Their technology targets electrical power generation applications, such as power for electrical grids and distributed power applications, which range from commercial and residential lighting to specialized military applications.

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