Patents by Inventor Harold J. Hovel

Harold J. Hovel 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).

  • Patent number: 10396229
    Abstract: A solar cell having n-type and p-type interdigitated back contacts (IBCs), which cover the entire back surface of the absorber layer. The spatial separation of the IBCs is in a direction perpendicular to the back surface, thus providing borderless contacts having a zero-footprint separation. As the contacts are on the back, photons incident on the cell's front surface can be absorbed without any shadowing.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 9, 2011
    Date of Patent: August 27, 2019
    Assignee: International Business Machines Corporation
    Inventors: Joel P. De Souza, Harold J. Hovel, Daniel A. Inns, Jeehwan Kim, Christian Lavoie, Devendra K. Sadana, Katherine L. Saenger, Davood Shahrjerdi, Zhen Zhang
  • Patent number: 9882076
    Abstract: A solar energy conversion device comprises a vertical stack of at least two panels stacked in a hierarchy from an upper panel to a lower panel with each of the panels including a matching array of solar cells having a different energy bandgap from other panels of solar cells in the vertical stack of panels. Each panel in the vertical stack may be arranged with one of the panels having solar cells with a higher energy bandgap situated in the hierarchy and in the stack above others of the panels containing solar cells with a lower energy bandgap. The top surface of the device is adapted for receiving solar energy incident upon the uppermost panel. Each upper panel absorbs a fraction of sunlight with larger solar photon energies larger than the energy bandgap thereof.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 29, 2012
    Date of Patent: January 30, 2018
    Assignee: International Businss Machines Corporation
    Inventor: Harold J. Hovel
  • Patent number: 9837571
    Abstract: An energy conversion device comprises at least two thin film photovoltaic cells fabricated separately and joined by wafer bonding. The cells are arranged in a hierarchical stack of decreasing order of their energy bandgap from top to bottom. Each of the thin film cells has a thickness in the range from about 0.5 ?m to about 10 ?m. The photovoltaic cell stack is mounted upon a thick substrate composed of a material selected from silicon, glass, quartz, silica, alumina, ceramic, metal, graphite, and plastic. Each of the interfaces between the cells comprises a structure selected from a tunnel junction, a heterojunction, a transparent conducting oxide, and an alloying metal grid; and the top surface and/or the lower surface of the energy conversion device may contain light-trapping means.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 14, 2017
    Date of Patent: December 5, 2017
    Assignee: International Business Machines Corporation
    Inventor: Harold J. Hovel
  • Patent number: 9680044
    Abstract: An energy conversion device comprises at least two thin film photovoltaic cells fabricated separately and joined by wafer bonding. The cells are arranged in a hierarchical stack of decreasing order of their energy bandgap from top to bottom. Each of the thin film cells has a thickness in the range from about 0.5 ?m to about 10 ?m. The photovoltaic cell stack is mounted upon a thick substrate composed of a material selected from silicon, glass, quartz, silica, alumina, ceramic, metal, graphite, and plastic. Each of the interfaces between the cells comprises a structure selected from a tunnel junction, a heterojunction, a transparent conducting oxide, and an alloying metal grid; and the top surface and/or the lower surface of the energy conversion device may contain light-trapping means.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 19, 2014
    Date of Patent: June 13, 2017
    Assignee: International Business Machines Corporation
    Inventor: Harold J. Hovel
  • Publication number: 20170162740
    Abstract: An energy conversion device comprises at least two thin film photovoltaic cells fabricated separately and joined by wafer bonding. The cells are arranged in a hierarchical stack of decreasing order of their energy bandgap from top to bottom. Each of the thin film cells has a thickness in the range from about 0.5 ?m to about 10 ?m. The photovoltaic cell stack is mounted upon a thick substrate composed of a material selected from silicon, glass, quartz, silica, alumina, ceramic, metal, graphite, and plastic. Each of the interfaces between the cells comprises a structure selected from a tunnel junction, a heterojunction, a transparent conducting oxide, and an alloying metal grid; and the top surface and/or the lower surface of the energy conversion device may contain light-trapping means.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 14, 2017
    Publication date: June 8, 2017
    Inventor: Harold J. Hovel
  • Patent number: 9666749
    Abstract: The instant disclosure relates to contact grids for use in photovoltaic cells, wherein a cross-section of the contact grid fingers is shaped as a trapezoid, as well as a method of making photovoltaic cells comprising these contact grids. The contact grids of the instant disclosure are cost effective and, due to their thick metal grids, exhibit minimum resistance. Despite having thick metal grids, the unique shape of the contact grid fingers of the instant disclosure allow the photovoltaic cells in which they are employed to retain more solar energy than traditional solar cells by reflecting incoming solar energy back onto the surface of the solar cell instead of reflecting this energy away from the cell.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 8, 2016
    Date of Patent: May 30, 2017
    Assignee: International Business Machines Corporation
    Inventors: Ronald D. Goldblatt, Harold J. Hovel, Xiaoyan Shao, Steven E. Steen
  • Patent number: 9496140
    Abstract: A multi-junction photovoltaic device includes a silicon substrate and a dielectric layer formed on the silicon substrate. A germanium layer is formed on the dielectric layer. The germanium includes a crystalline structure that is substantially similar to the crystalline structure of the silicon substrate. A first photovoltaic sub-cell includes a first plurality of doped semiconductor layers formed on the germanium layer. At least a second photovoltaic sub-cell includes a second plurality of doped semiconductor layers formed on the first photovoltaic sub-cell that is on the germanium layer that is on the dielectric layer.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 14, 2012
    Date of Patent: November 15, 2016
    Assignee: GLOBALFOUNDRIES INC.
    Inventors: Supratik Guha, Harold J. Hovel
  • Publication number: 20160225934
    Abstract: The instant disclosure relates to contact grids for use in photovoltaic cells, wherein a cross-section of the contact grid fingers is shaped as a trapezoid, as well as a method of making photovoltaic cells comprising these contact grids. The contact grids of the instant disclosure are cost effective and, due to their thick metal grids, exhibit minimum resistance. Despite having thick metal grids, the unique shape of the contact grid fingers of the instant disclosure allow the photovoltaic cells in which they are employed to retain more solar energy than traditional solar cells by reflecting incoming solar energy back onto the surface of the solar cell instead of reflecting this energy away from the cell.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 8, 2016
    Publication date: August 4, 2016
    Applicant: International Business Machines Corporation
    Inventors: Ronald D. Goldblatt, Harold J. Hovel, Xiaoyan Shao, Steven E. Steen
  • Patent number: 9337363
    Abstract: The instant disclosure relates to contact grids for use in photovoltaic cells, wherein a cross-section of the contact grid fingers is shaped as a trapezoid, as well as a method of making photovoltaic cells comprising these contact grids. The contact grids of the instant disclosure are cost effective and, due to their thick metal grids, exhibit minimum resistance. Despite having thick metal grids, the unique shape of the contact grid fingers of the instant disclosure allow the photovoltaic cells in which they are employed to retain more solar energy than traditional solar cells by reflecting incoming solar energy back onto the surface of the solar cell instead of reflecting this energy away from the cell.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 11, 2011
    Date of Patent: May 10, 2016
    Assignee: International Business Machines Corporation
    Inventors: Ronald Goldblatt, Harold J. Hovel, Xiaoyan Shao, Steven E. Steen
  • Publication number: 20150096176
    Abstract: An absorber device comprises a substrate; one or more thin film radiation absorbers arranged on the substrate; an integrated optical system, comprising at least one first optical element; a cover medium arranged above the substrate and the one or more radiation absorbers. The at least one first optical element and at least one corresponding one of the one or more radiation absorbers are aligned with respect to their optical axis, such that an incoming radiation is directed onto the one or more radiation absorbers by the optical system. A method of manufacturing an absorber device is also provided.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 20, 2014
    Publication date: April 9, 2015
    Inventors: Hans-Juergen Eickelmann, Harold J. Hovel, Ruediger Kellmann, Hartmut Kuehl, Markus Schmidt, Steven E. Steen
  • Publication number: 20150072462
    Abstract: An energy conversion device comprises at least two thin film photovoltaic cells fabricated separately and joined by wafer bonding. The cells are arranged in a hierarchical stack of decreasing order of their energy bandgap from top to bottom. Each of the thin film cells has a thickness in the range from about 0.5 ?m to about 10 ?m. The photovoltaic cell stack is mounted upon a thick substrate composed of a material selected from silicon, glass, quartz, silica, alumina, ceramic, metal, graphite, and plastic. Each of the interfaces between the cells comprises a structure selected from a tunnel junction, a heterojunction, a transparent conducting oxide, and an alloying metal grid; and the top surface and/or the lower surface of the energy conversion device may contain light-trapping means.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 19, 2014
    Publication date: March 12, 2015
    Inventor: Harold J. Hovel
  • Publication number: 20150060856
    Abstract: This invention provides structures and a fabrication process for incorporating thin film transistors in back end of the line (BEOL) interconnect structures. The structures and fabrication processes described are compatible with processing requirements for the BEOL interconnect structures. The structures and fabrication processes utilize existing processing steps and materials already incorporated in interconnect wiring levels in order to reduce added cost associated with incorporating thin film transistors in the these levels. The structures enable vertical (3D) integration of multiple levels with improved manufacturability and reliability as compared to prior art methods of 3D integration.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 28, 2013
    Publication date: March 5, 2015
    Applicant: International Business Machines Corporation
    Inventors: Christy S. TYBERG, Katherine L. SAENGER, Jack O. CHU, Harold J. HOVEL, Robert L. WISNIEFF, Kerry BERNSTEIN, Stephen W. BEDELL
  • Patent number: 8962374
    Abstract: A stack of a first anti-reflective coating (ARC) layer and a titanium layer is formed on a front surface of a semiconductor substrate including a p-n junction, and is subsequently patterned so that a semiconductor surface is physically exposed in metal contact regions of the front surface of the semiconductor substrate. The remaining portion of the titanium layer is converted into a titania layer by oxidation. A metal layer is plated on the metal contact regions, and a copper line is subsequently plated on the metal layer or a metal semiconductor alloy derived from the metal layer. A second ARC layer is deposited over the titania layer and the copper line, and is subsequently patterned to provide electrical contact to the copper line.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 27, 2012
    Date of Patent: February 24, 2015
    Assignee: International Business Machines Corporation
    Inventors: Satyavolu S. Papa Rao, Kathryn C. Fisher, Harold J. Hovel, Qiang Huang, Susan Huang, Young-Hee Kim
  • Patent number: 8946844
    Abstract: A stack of a first anti-reflective coating (ARC) layer and a titanium layer is formed on a front surface of a semiconductor substrate including a p-n junction, and is subsequently patterned so that a semiconductor surface is physically exposed in metal contact regions of the front surface of the semiconductor substrate. The remaining portion of the titanium layer is converted into a titania layer by oxidation. A metal layer is plated on the metal contact regions, and a copper line is subsequently plated on the metal layer or a metal semiconductor alloy derived from the metal layer. A second ARC layer is deposited over the titania layer and the copper line, and is subsequently patterned to provide electrical contact to the copper line.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 28, 2013
    Date of Patent: February 3, 2015
    Assignee: International Business Machines Corporation
    Inventors: Satyavolu S. Papa Rao, Kathryn C. Fisher, Harold J. Hovel, Qiang Huang, Young-hee Kim, Susan Huang
  • Publication number: 20150030283
    Abstract: An absorber device comprises a substrate; one or more thin film radiation absorbers arranged on the substrate; an integrated optical system, comprising at least one first optical element; a cover medium arranged above the substrate and the one or more radiation absorbers. The at least one first optical element and at least one corresponding one of the one or more radiation absorbers are aligned with respect to their optical axis, such that an incoming radiation is directed onto the one or more radiation absorbers by the optical system. A method of manufacturing an absorber device is also provided.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 1, 2014
    Publication date: January 29, 2015
    Inventors: Hans-Juergen Eickelmann, Harold J. Hovel, Ruediger Kellmann, Hartmut Kuehl, Markus Schmidt, Steven E. Steen
  • Patent number: 8916769
    Abstract: An energy conversion device comprises at least two thin film photovoltaic cells fabricated separately and joined by wafer bonding. The cells are arranged in a hierarchical stack of decreasing order of their energy bandgap from top to bottom. Each of the thin film cells has a thickness in the range from about 0.5 ?m to about 10 ?m. The photovoltaic cell stack is mounted upon a thick substrate composed of a material selected from silicon, glass, quartz, silica, alumina, ceramic, metal, graphite, and plastic. Each of the interfaces between the cells comprises a structure selected from a tunnel junction, a heterojunction, a transparent conducting oxide, and an alloying metal grid; and the top surface and/or the lower surface of the energy conversion device may contain light-trapping means.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 7, 2008
    Date of Patent: December 23, 2014
    Assignee: International Business Machines Corporation
    Inventor: Harold J. Hovel
  • Patent number: 8878055
    Abstract: A photovoltaic device and method include a substrate layer having a plurality of structures including peaks and troughs formed therein. A continuous photovoltaic stack is conformally formed over the substrate layer and extends over the peaks and troughs. The photovoltaic stack has a thickness of less than one micron and is configured to transduce incident radiation into current flow.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 9, 2010
    Date of Patent: November 4, 2014
    Assignee: International Business Machines Corporation
    Inventors: Keith E. Fogel, William S. Graham, Jeehwan Kim, Harold J. Hovel, Devendra K. Sadana, Katherine L. Saenger
  • Patent number: 8878259
    Abstract: Segmented semiconductor nanowires are manufactured by removal of material from a layered structure of two or more semiconductor materials in the absence of a template. The removal takes place at some locations on the surface of the layered structure and continues preferentially along the direction of a crystallographic axis, such that nanowires with a segmented structure remain at locations where little or no removal occurs. The interface between different segments can be perpendicular to or at angle with the longitudinal direction of the nanowire.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 23, 2012
    Date of Patent: November 4, 2014
    Assignee: International Business Machines Corporation
    Inventors: Harold J. Hovel, Qiang Huang, Xiaoyan Shao, James Vichiconti, George F. Walker
  • Patent number: 8861728
    Abstract: The present disclosure relates to integrated circuits having tamper detection and response devices and methods for manufacturing such integrated circuits. One integrated circuit having a tamper detection and response device includes at least one photovoltaic cell and at least one memory cell coupled to the at least one photovoltaic cell. When the at least one photovoltaic cell is exposed to radiation, the at least one photovoltaic cell generates a current that causes an alteration to a memory state of the at least one memory cell. Another integrated circuit having a tamper detection and response device includes at least one photovoltaic cell and a reactive material coupled to the at least one photovoltaic cell, wherein a current from the at least one photovoltaic cell triggers an exothermic reaction in the reactive material.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 17, 2012
    Date of Patent: October 14, 2014
    Assignee: International Business Machines Corporation
    Inventors: Jack O. Chu, Gregory M. Fritz, Harold J. Hovel, Young-Hee Kim, Dirk Pfeiffer, Kenneth P. Rodbell
  • Patent number: 8795502
    Abstract: A method of forming patterned metallization by electrodeposition under illumination without external voltage supply on a photovoltaic structure or on n-type region of a transistor/junction.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 12, 2010
    Date of Patent: August 5, 2014
    Assignee: International Business Machines Corporation
    Inventors: John M. Cotte, Harold J. Hovel, Devendra K. Sadana, Xiaoyan Shao, Steven Erik Steen