Progress at Plextronics
Plextronics, a small US company, is developing non-acidic polythiophenes as alternatives to PEDOT and it can already tailor different types to give different light emitting and photovoltaic characteristics. 70% of its work is on lighting and 30% on solar cell materials with a little on semiconductors for printed polymeric transistors.
Progress at Konarka
Konarka, in a recent presentation, noted that the photovoltaic market has been growing at 25 percent yearly and 20% yearly in future would seem reasonable. However, about 60% of the market is feeding electricity power grids and this is heavily subsidised by governments. Konarka believes that, in all the main applications, the most important parameters are cost, efficiency and lifetime. Flexible versions are only 3-4% efficient today ie similar to amorphous silicon but Konarka believes that 10% is possible.
The national Science Foundation has recently awarded $500,000 to Konarka to develop better performing printed photovoltaics. 10% efficiency ( a doubling) is sought from better dyes and additives in this two year program.