While OPV manufacturers are heading toward commercialization, researchers are developing new approaches that offer promise.
David Savastano, Editor11.07.14
When the idea of flexible and printed electronics first came to prominence, solar was one of the key potential markets. Screenprinting is already used in traditional solar operations to print the backplane, among other areas. The vision was to be able to print solar materials onto flexible substrates, thus reducing costs and increasing production.
With this dream in place, a wide range of entrepreneurs headed to the marketplace, with venture capital groups providing lots of funding. Companies such as Konarka Technologies and Solyndra received millions of dollars in funding, from venture capital firms and/or the government, and built production-scale operations to manufacture their products. Researchers worked on thin-film technologies ranging from organic photovoltaics (OPV) to copper indium gallium selenide (CIGS), among others.
As we know now, these companies, and many others with them, never succeeded commercially. Many went out of business, including Konarka and Solyndra; oth
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