Patents by Inventor Christopher M. Fetzer

Christopher M. Fetzer has filed for patents to protect the following inventions. This listing includes patent applications that are pending as well as patents that have already been granted by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

  • Publication number: 20140076401
    Abstract: Device structures, apparatuses, and methods are disclosed for photovoltaic cells that may be a single-junction or multijunction solar cells, with at least a first layer comprising a group-IV semiconductor in which part of the cell comprises a second layer comprising a III-V semiconductor or group-IV semiconductor having a different composition than the group-IV semiconductor of the first layer, such that a heterostructure is formed between the first and second layers.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 14, 2012
    Publication date: March 20, 2014
    Applicant: THE BOEING COMPANY
    Inventors: Richard R. King, Christopher M. Fetzer, Nasser H. Karam
  • Patent number: 8642883
    Abstract: A solar cell including a base semiconductor layer having a first bandgap, an emitter semiconductor layer having a second bandgap and a depletion semiconductor layer positioned between the base semiconductor layer and the emitter semiconductor layer, the depletion semiconductor layer having a third bandgap, wherein the third bandgap is greater than the first bandgap and the second bandgap.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 9, 2010
    Date of Patent: February 4, 2014
    Assignee: The Boeing Company
    Inventors: Joseph Charles Boisvert, Daniel C. Law, Richard R. King, Christopher M. Fetzer
  • Publication number: 20130220407
    Abstract: A solar cell including a base region, a back surface field layer and a delta doping layer positioned between the base region and the back surface field layer.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 29, 2012
    Publication date: August 29, 2013
    Applicant: The Boeing Company
    Inventors: Xing-Quan Liu, Christopher M. Fetzer, Daniel C. Law
  • Publication number: 20130074934
    Abstract: Photovoltaic (PV) cell structures are disclosed. In one example embodiment, a PV cell includes an emitter layer, a base layer adjacent to the emitter layer, and a back surface field (BSF) layer adjacent to the base layer. The BSF layer includes a first layer, and a second layer adjacent to the first layer. The first layer includes a first material and the second layer includes a second material different than the first material.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 22, 2011
    Publication date: March 28, 2013
    Inventors: Xing-Quan Liu, Daniel C. Law, Eric Michael Rehder, Christopher M. Fetzer, Richard R. King
  • Publication number: 20120285524
    Abstract: A solar cell includes a first layer having a first-layer lattice parameter, a second layer having a second-layer lattice parameter different from the first-layer lattice parameter, wherein the second layer includes a photoactive second-layer material; and a third layer having a third-layer lattice parameter different from the second-layer lattice parameter, wherein the third layer includes a photoactive third-layer material. A transparent buffer layer extends between and contacts the second layer and the third layer and has a buffer-layer lattice parameter that varies with increasing distance from the second layer toward the third layer, so as to lattice match to the second layer and to the third layer. There may be additional subcell layers and buffer layers in the solar cell.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 23, 2012
    Publication date: November 15, 2012
    Applicant: THE BOEING COMPANY
    Inventors: Richard R. KING, Christopher M. FETZER, Peter C. COLTER
  • Publication number: 20120273042
    Abstract: A method of forming a tunnel junction in a solar cell structure alternates between depositing a Group III material and depositing a Group V material on the solar cell structure.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 29, 2011
    Publication date: November 1, 2012
    Inventors: Xing-Quan Liu, Christopher M. Fetzer, Daniel C. Law
  • Publication number: 20120240987
    Abstract: A semiconductor device structure having increased photogenerated current density, and increased current output is disclosed. The device includes low bandgap absorber regions that increase the range of wavelengths at which photogeneration of charge carriers takes place, and for which useful current can be collected. The low bandgap absorber regions may be strain balanced by strain-compensation regions, and the low bandgap absorber regions and strain-compensation regions may be formed from the same ternary semiconductor family. The device may be a solar cell, subcell, or other optoelectronic device with a metamorphic or lattice-mismatched base layer, for which the low bandgap absorber region improves the effective bandgap combination of subcells and current balance within the multijunction cell, for higher efficiency conversion of the solar spectrum.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 22, 2011
    Publication date: September 27, 2012
    Applicant: THE BOEING COMPANY
    Inventors: Richard R. KING, Christopher M. FETZER, Dimitri D. KRUT, Nasser H. KARAM
  • Patent number: 8227689
    Abstract: A solar cell includes a first layer having a first-layer lattice parameter, a second layer having a second-layer lattice parameter different from the first-layer lattice parameter, wherein the second layer includes a photoactive second-layer material; and a third layer having a third-layer lattice parameter different from the second-layer lattice parameter, wherein the third layer includes a photoactive third-layer material. A transparent buffer layer extends between and contacts the second layer and the third layer and has a buffer-layer lattice parameter that varies with increasing distance from the second layer toward the third layer, so as to lattice match to the second layer and to the third layer. There may be additional subcell layers and buffer layers in the solar cell.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 15, 2004
    Date of Patent: July 24, 2012
    Assignee: The Boeing Company
    Inventors: Richard R. King, Christopher M. Fetzer, Peter C. Colter
  • Publication number: 20120031478
    Abstract: A solar cell including a base semiconductor layer having a first bandgap, an emitter semiconductor layer having a second bandgap and a depletion semiconductor layer positioned between the base semiconductor layer and the emitter semiconductor layer, the depletion semiconductor layer having a third bandgap, wherein the third bandgap is greater than the first bandgap and the second bandgap.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 9, 2010
    Publication date: February 9, 2012
    Applicant: THE BOEING COMPANY
    Inventors: Joseph Charles Boisvert, Daniel C. Law, Richard R. King, Christopher M. Fetzer
  • Patent number: 7807921
    Abstract: A multijunction solar cell includes a first photoactive subcell layer having a first-subcell lattice parameter and a composition including (a) at least one Group III element, at least one Group V element other than (nitrogen, phosphorus), and (nitrogen, phosphorus), or (b) a material selected from the group including GaInAsBi, GaInAsSb, GaInAsP, ZnGeAs2, or BGaInAs. The multijunction solar cell also has a substrate having a substrate lattice parameter different from the first-subcell lattice parameter, and a composition-graded buffer layer between the first photoactive subcell layer and the substrate and having a buffer-layer lattice parameter graded between the first-subcell lattice parameter and the substrate lattice parameter.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 15, 2004
    Date of Patent: October 5, 2010
    Assignee: The Boeing Company
    Inventors: Christopher M. Fetzer, Richard R. King, Peter C. Colter
  • Publication number: 20100229930
    Abstract: A highly doped layer for interconnecting tunnel junctions in multijunction solar cells is presented. The highly doped layer is a delta doped layer in one or both layers of a tunnel diode junction used to connect two or more p-on-n or n-on-p solar cells in a multijunction solar cell. A delta doped layer is made by interrupting the epitaxial growth of one of the layers of the tunnel diode, depositing a delta dopant at a concentration substantially greater than the concentration used in growing the layer of the tunnel diode, and then continuing to epitaxially grow the remaining tunnel diode.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 16, 2009
    Publication date: September 16, 2010
    Applicant: THE BOEING COMPANY
    Inventor: Christopher M. Fetzer
  • Patent number: 7659474
    Abstract: A solar cell array has at least one solar cell including a photovoltaic structure having a sun-facing front face and a back face, and having an active region, and an isotype heterojunction diode connected in electrical parallel with the active region of the photovoltaic structure.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 4, 2005
    Date of Patent: February 9, 2010
    Assignee: The Boeing Company
    Inventors: David E. Joslin, Christopher M. Fetzer
  • Patent number: 7626116
    Abstract: A method of reducing propagation of threading dislocations into active areas of an optoelectronic device having a III-V material system includes growing a metamorphic buffer region in the presence of an isoelectronic surfactant. A first buffer layer may be lattice matched to an adjacent substrate and a second buffer layer may be lattice matched to device layers disposed upon the second buffer layer. Moreover, multiple metamorphic buffer layers fabricated in this manner may be used in a single given device allowing multiple layers to have their band gaps and lattice constants independently selected from those of the rest of the device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 23, 2006
    Date of Patent: December 1, 2009
    Assignee: The Boeing Company
    Inventors: Christopher M. Fetzer, James H. Ermer, Richard R. King, Peter C. Cotler
  • Publication number: 20090145476
    Abstract: A method of reducing propagation of threading dislocations into active areas of an optoelectronic device having a III-V material system includes growing a metamorphic buffer region in the presence of an isoelectronic surfactant. A first buffer layer may be lattice matched to an adjacent substrate and a second buffer layer may be lattice matched to device layers disposed upon the second buffer layer. Moreover, multiple metamorphic buffer layers fabricated in this manner may be used in a single given device allowing multiple layers to have their band gaps and lattice constants independently selected from those of the rest of the device.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 23, 2006
    Publication date: June 11, 2009
    Inventors: Christopher M. Fetzer, James H. Ermer, Richard R. King, Peter C. Colter
  • Patent number: 7326970
    Abstract: A metamorphic avalanche photodetector includes a substrate, and an active structure supported on the substrate. The active structure has a metamorphic absorption structure that absorbs light and responsively produces primary charge carriers, and an avalanche multiplication structure that receives the primary charge carriers from the metamorphic absorption structure and responsively produces secondary charge carriers. An output electrical contact is in electrical communication with the active structure to collect at least some of the secondary charge carriers. A buffer layer lies between the substrate and the active structure, between the active structure and the output electrical contact, or between the metamorphic absorption structure and the avalanche multiplication structure. A lattice parameter of the buffer layer varies with position through a thickness of the buffer layer.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 11, 2005
    Date of Patent: February 5, 2008
    Assignee: The Boeing Company
    Inventors: Geoffrey S. Kinsey, Dmitri D. Krut, Joseph C. Boisvert, Christopher M. Fetzer, Richard R. King
  • Patent number: 7126052
    Abstract: A method of disordering a layer of an optoelectronic device including; growing a plurality of lower layers; introducing an isoelectronic surfactant; growing a layer; allowing the surfactant to desorb; and growing subsequent layers all performed at a low pressure of 25 torr.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 2, 2002
    Date of Patent: October 24, 2006
    Assignee: The Boeing Company
    Inventors: Christopher M. Fetzer, James H. Ermer, Richard R. King, Peter C. Cotler
  • Patent number: 7122734
    Abstract: A method of reducing propagation of threading dislocations into active areas of an optoelectronic device having a III–V material system includes growing a metamorphic buffer region in the presence of an isoelectronic surfactant. A first buffer layer may be lattice matched to an adjacent substrate and a second buffer layer may be lattice matched to device layers disposed upon the second buffer layer. Moreover, multiple metamorphic buffer layers fabricated in this manner may be used in a single given device allowing multiple layers to have their band gaps and lattice constants independently selected from those of the rest of the device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 23, 2002
    Date of Patent: October 17, 2006
    Assignee: The Boeing Company
    Inventors: Christopher M. Fetzer, James H. Ermer, Richard R. King, Peter C. Cotler
  • Publication number: 20040079408
    Abstract: A method of reducing propagation of threading dislocations into active areas of an optoelectronic device having a III-V material system includes growing a metamorphic buffer region in the presence of an isoelectronic surfactant. A first buffer layer may be lattice matched to an adjacent substrate and a second buffer layer may be lattice matched to device layers disposed upon the second buffer layer. Moreover, multiple metamorphic buffer layers fabricated in this manner may be used in a single given device allowing multiple layers to have their band gaps and lattice constants independently selected from those of the rest of the device.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 23, 2002
    Publication date: April 29, 2004
    Applicant: The Boeing Company
    Inventors: Christopher M. Fetzer, James H. Ermer, Richard R. King, Peter C. Colter
  • Publication number: 20040065363
    Abstract: A method of disordering a layer of an optoelectronic device including; growing a plurality of lower layers; introducing an isoelectronic surfactant; growing a layer; allowing the surfactant to desorb; and growing subsequent layers all performed at a low pressure of 25 torr.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 2, 2002
    Publication date: April 8, 2004
    Applicant: The Boeing Company
    Inventors: Christopher M. Fetzer, James H. Ermer, Richard R. King, Peter C. Colter