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National Science Foundation

NSF 07-43, Benchmarks of NSF Innovation

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Through decades of materials science research funding from NSF, followed by support from NSF's Small Business Innovation Research program, Konarka
Technologies, Inc. developed a flexible photovoltaic technology, or 'Power Plastic®,' that efficiently generates electricity from light. Power Plastic is flexible, lightweight, lower in cost and more versatile in application than traditional silicon- based solar cells. The technology, which embeds nanoparticles in a film, enables applications to have their own integrated sources of renewable power.

The company is commercializing its solar cells, and they are being integrated into consumer products, such as mobile electronic devices and laptops. Military applications include battery charging on the battlefield and remote power for
unmanned vehicles. As of February 2006, Konarka had $20 million of venture capital funding.

The company's headquarters are in Lowell, Massachusettes, and Nuremburg, Germany. Its research and development facilities are in Austria and Switzerland. One of the company's founders earned a Nobel Prize in chemistry for his work with this technology. Konarka's global intellectual property position includes more than 280 patent applications for materials, manufacturing, manufacturing processes,
architecture and devices.

Konarka's 'power plastic' held by clamps

Konarka's 'Power Plastics' are more versatile than conventional solar cells and can efficiently generate electricity from sunlight and artificial light.

Credit: Konarka Technologies, Inc.

Biodegradable Plastics from Carbon Dioxide [Next]


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