This is our fifth post in the thin-film solar cell series.

Konarka is a company that develops solar panel using nano-enabled polymer photovoltaic materials. This polymer material, or as Konarka called PowerPlastic, is a semi-conductor organic material that are thin, lightweight, and very flexible. Comparing to traditional solar panel, PowerPlastic provides better performance, lower cost, and lower toxicity. Not only that, PowerPlastic can absorb low light level efficiently. The main component of Konarka’s photovoltaic cells is nanoscale titanium dioxide particles coating, a light-sensitive dye that generates electricity when light shines on.

PowerPlastic solar panel is created using roll to roll manufacturing process. Roll to roll process is the process in which transparent electrode, printed active material, primary electrode and substrate are printed onto transparent packaging to make a solar panel. This manufacturing process is inexpensive, environmental friendly, and simple. Currently, Konarka is invested by US military, the National Science Foundation, DARPA, and the Department of Energy, the Department of Commerece, etc. Konarka’s solar panel is a great prospect of future alternative energy source.

(via Konarka and Wikipedia, image credit: Konarka Technologies, Inc.)

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