These charge couples split upon reaching an interface between nanosized domains of a conductive polymer (electron donor) and a material such as a fullerene (electron acceptor). The electrons and holes then travel to their respective electrodes, thereby generating current. The past decade has witnessed the growth of companies, including Konarka Technologies, in Lowell, Mass., that produce large multicell OPV modules via roll-to-roll manufacturing processes. These modules are being incorporated into backpacks, handbags, and other irregularly shaped products to charge laptops, mobile phones, and other portable electronics while the owner is on the go. In addition to those retail consumer products, a broad selection of OPV modules is now being integrated into windows, skylights, and walls, turning building surfaces into inexpensive power generators.
by Mitch Jacoby |
December 19, 2011