An official website of the United States Government 
Here's how you know

Official websites use .gov

.gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS

A lock ( lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Immediate Release

DOD Awards $14.4 Million to Sustain and Enhance the Space-Qualified Solar Cell Supply Chain

The Department of Defense today announced an award of $14.4 million via the Defense Production Act Investment (DPAI) Program to 5N+ Semiconductors (5N Semi) to sustain and expand the capability to produce germanium substrates used in solar cells for defense and commercial satellites. This effort supports the 2024 National Defense Industrial Strategy to continue and expand support for domestic production within the resilient supply chains strategic priority area. 

"Space-based capabilities are vital to U.S. national security," said Dr. Laura Taylor-Kale, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Industrial Base Policy (ASD(IBP)). "This effort will feed supply chains that support the space power ecosystem while also helping ensure the long-term business viability of the U.S. defense industrial base for space-qualified germanium wafers."

The award facilitates the enhancement of space-qualified germanium wafer manufacturing capabilities, vital for solar cells utilized in commercial and national security satellites. It involves upgrading and expanding production facilities and tools while minimizing production variability. Additionally, the initiative will address process integration with solar cell producers' evolving germanium substrate requirements. The effort also includes improvements in germanium sourcing, recovery, and refining. Finally, it supports product diversification to ensure long-term merchant supplier business viability. The technical effort will take place at 5N Semi's facility in St. George, Utah and is planned to last four years.  

This is the latest of 13 awards made by the DPAI program across multiple areas totaling $322 million since the beginning of fiscal year 2024. DPAI is overseen by the ASD(IBP)'s Manufacturing Capability Expansion and Investment Prioritization (MCEIP) Program, in the Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Industrial Base Resilience.

For more information on MCEIP, please visit: 

About the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Industrial Base Policy (OASD(IBP)) 

The OASD(IBP) works with domestic and international partners to forge and sustain a robust, secure, and resilient industrial base enabling the warfighter, now and in the future.