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Emcore wins DARPA contract for Very High Efficiency Solar Cell Program

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - Engineers at the Emcore Corp. Photovoltaic division in Albuquerque, N.M., are developing advanced III-V multijunction solar cells for phase one of the Very High Efficiency Solar Cell (VHSEC) program of the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) in Arlington, Va.

Emcore is subcontracting to the University of Delaware in Newark, Del., which is the prime contractor on the DARPA VHSEC program. In later phases, Emcore officials say they expect to develop a technology roadmap for reducing fabrication costs for the high-efficiency solar cells.

The DARPA VHSEC program, which provide as much as $53 million to program participants in various phases over the next several years, 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.

Emcore’s Photovoltaic division manufactures efficient solar cells for satellite and terrestrial applications, and has commercialized several advanced solar cell technologies by focusing on satellite-based solar power systems for communication, navigation, Earth observation, and science applications.

Emcore will provide DARPA with high-volume production of III-V compound semiconductor solar cells using gallium arsenide (GaAs) alloys and metal-organic-chemical vapor deposition (MOCVD) growth platforms, explains David Danzilio, vice president and general manager of EMCORE’s Photovoltaic division.

“A key part of this project also is making the transition from the laboratory to production and the marketplace,” says Allen Barnett, principal investigator and research professor in University of Delaware’s department of electrical and computer engineering.

For more information contact Emcore online at

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