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Emcore announces sale of space PV activities

EMCORE, a provider of compound semiconductor-based components, subsystems, and systems for the fibre optics and space solar power industries, has announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement with an affiliate of private equity firm Veritas Capital.

Under this agreement, the affiliate of Veritas has agreed to purchase Emcore’s space photovoltaics business for $150 million in cash. The transaction is subject to approval by Emcore’s shareholders and other customary closing conditions and is currently expected to close in December 2014 or January 2015.

Emcore’s Space Photovoltaics business was founded in 1998 and is based in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The business provides products for space power applications including high-

efficiency multi-junction solar cells, coverglass interconnected cells and complete satellite solar panels, along with terrestrial applications, including high-efficiency multi-junction solar cells for concentrating photovoltaic power systems.

“Veritas Capital is excited to be associated with Emcore’s space photovoltaics business. The management and employees at Emcore have an established history of providing leading technology and reliable products to the worldwide satellite industry.

We look forward to continuing this excellent track record under our ownership and to working with the Space Photovoltaics team to expand the business,” said Benjamin Polk, Partner of Veritas Capital.

US scientists grow GaAs films on low cost substrates

III-V SEMICONDUCTORS such as GaAs make highly efficient solar cells but the GaAs or Ge substrates used for their epitaxial growth account for more than half of the cost, giving limited use in terrestrial photovoltaic applications.

While efforts have been made to grow high quality single-crystalline GaAs and III-V materials on low-cost substrates such as metal foils, they have not been very successful. Either the cost-reduction has been insufficient for making solar cells for terrestrial use or the opto- electronic properties have become degraded so the power conversion efficiency is low.

Now a research team from the University of Houston, South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, and NASA Johnson Space Center, has reported the heteroepitaxial growth of high mobility, single-crystalline-like n and p-type doped GaAs thin films on inexpensive, flexible metal foils using an MOCVD process. The GaAs films exhibited hole and electron mobilities as high as 66 and

300 cm2

/V-s, respectively. The epitaxy enabling substrate for GaAs growth was single-crystalline-like Ge thin film on biaxially textured templates made by ion beam assisted deposition on metal foil.

According to the team, the GaAs films on metal foils showed single-crystalline-like nature, strong biaxial texture, low grain misorientation (less than 2O

) and strong

photoluminescence at room temperature. Precise control of doping and carrier concentration was achieved, resulting in GaAs films with high carrier mobility and electrical conductivity.

The researchers believe the work can pave the path for roll-to-roll manufacturing of flexible III-V solar cells for the mainstream photovoltaics market.

‘High mobility single-crystalline-like GaAs thin films on inexpensive flexible metal substrates by metal-organic chemical vapor deposition’ by P. Dutta et al, appeared in Appl. Phys. Lett. 105 092104.

8 October 2014 Copyright Compound Semiconductor

“Veritas’ proven track record of fostering growth in high-technology and defense industry companies makes it an excellent fit for Emcore’s Space Photovoltaics business. Emcore’s board ofdDirectors and management team believe this transaction will benefit our satellite customers while providing considerable value to our shareholders,” said Hong Hou, president and CEO of Emcore Corporation.

Riber introduces compact new 3inch research MBE system

RIBER has launched a new 3inch substrate MBE research system, the Compact 21 Discover, which it presented at the 18th International Conference on Molecular Beam Epitaxy, held in Flagstaff, USA.

The new model is claimed to

revolutionise research MBE by presenting the reactor on an open frame, enabling 360 degree access to the machine’s components and incorporating the transfer rod, traditionally a fragile, long part of the system, into the electronics cabinet.

The company describes it as the most compact and ergonomic 3inch MBE system on the market.

Based on the recent Compact 21DZ, the Discover is also the only 3 inch MBE system on the market to combine 12 symmetric cell ports with a 10 inch central port, offering flexible performance.

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