Tallinn University of Technology

The news appeared in the October issue of TalTech magazine Mente et Manu.

Katriin Kristmann, a doctoral student in chemical and materials technology at TalTech, began research aimed at developing technology for the production of monograin layer solar cells on the Moon.

Kuul energia tootmine

The results of the study are planned to be applied to provide electricity to the base of the European Space Agency that will be established on the South Pole of the Moon.

The sandpaper-like solar cell is based on monograin-powder technology developed by TalTech researchers, i.e. the battery consists of thousands of crystals with a diameter of 50 micrometres. The microcrystals are an absorbent material that is coated with a buffer and window layer in order to form a transition.

In this way, each crystal works as a small individual solar cell.

Microcrystals could be produced from elements found in the soil or regolith of the Moon.

The potential material would be pyrite FeS2 or ‘fool’s gold’, its elements iron and sulphur being quite abundant in the Moon regolith.

TalTech researchers can use the ESA science and technology laboratories in the Netherlands for research, and collaborate with the world's top engineers and researchers.