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17 February 2009


Wafer Technology to lead £2m 4-inch GaSb TPV project

Epiwafer supplier IQE plc of Cardiff, UK says that its substrate manufacturing division Wafer Technology Ltd in Milton Keynes will lead a consortium of partners including Lancaster University and QinetiQ that aims to develop highly efficient thermo-photovoltaic (TPV) cells for electricity generation from waste heat from industrial processes.

The project, which has been awarded £2m by the UK's Technology Strategy Board, is intended to realise novel low-bandgap TPV devices based on alloys including InAsSb (indium arsenide antimonide) and InGaSbN (indium gallium antimonide nitride) lattice matched to GaSb (gallium antimonide) substrates. Such cells should exhibit significantly higher efficiencies than existing devices and more effectively generate electricity from waste heat sources at temperatures below 1000ºC.

Wafer Technology’s contribution will be to extend its GaSb substrate technology to a diameter of 4-inches. Lancaster and QinetiQ will undertake epitaxial growth studies of the narrow-bandgap alloys. QinetiQ will also fabricate the devices. Prototype TPV systems will be validated by two further industrial partners to assess their performance in real industrial processes and environments.

“Thermo-voltaic cells will play an important role in the drive towards providing an efficient and cost-effective way of recovering waste energy from a wide range of industrial processes and recycling that energy into electricity,” says Wafer Technology’s sales & marketing director Dr Mark Furlong. TPVs add to IQE’s growing portfolio of energy-efficient products, which include ultra-high-brightness LEDs and high-efficiency concentrator photovoltaic (CPV) solar cells.

See related item:

InP boosts thermo-photovoltaic efficiency record to 12%

See: Wafer Technology Company Profile

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