Konarka Secures NSF Grant for Solar Power Plastic

March 02, 2005 by Jeff Shepard

Konarka Technologies Inc. (Lowell, MA), a developer and manufacturer of photovoltaic (PV) nanomaterials products that convert light to energy, announced it was awarded a $500,000 grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF). The award will help fund Konarka's efforts to increase the performance of its light-activated power plastic. The grant is effective for two years.

"As part of our ongoing research and development activities, we're always looking for even better ways to harvest both natural and artificial light for conversion to electricity - the more light our materials respond to, the more power they'll put out," said Konarka Vice President of Research and Development Russell Gaudiana. "This NSF grant will enable us to move forward on some promising advances we've seen in the labs."

Konarka is producing flexible, lightweight and versatile power plastic that makes it possible for devices, systems and structures to have their own low-cost embedded sources of renewable power. The goal of the NSF Small Business Innovation Research Phase II project is to raise the performance of the company's dye-sensitized solar cell technology, including generating more electrical current and improving efficiency to 10% or higher. To do this, the company will enhance the ability of its dyes and additives to capture more of the solar spectrum.