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Air Products Selected for Technology R&D Project by National Institute of Standards and Technology


Air Products and Konarka to Work on Transparent Solar Modules for Building Applications

Air Products (NYSE:APD) and Konarka Inc. of Lowell, Mass., have been selected by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), Advanced Technology Program (ATP) to conduct research and development on transparent, flexible solar modules for windows and other building integrated applications. The $4.7 million award is part of NIST’s Advanced Technology Program which looks to foster new technology developments by U.S. companies.

“Air Products is pleased to be working with Konarka, a global leader in OPV technology, on this project,” said John Dickenson, senior business development manager at Air Products. “Our novel polythiophene-based HIL (hole injection layer) materials have demonstrated clear lifetime enhancement in conventional OPV’s, and we look forward to developing new grades suitable for transparent devices.”

Organic photovoltaic (OPV) technology is unique among solar energy alternatives in offering the potential for selecting materials for varying levels of transparency, capable of absorbing narrowly or broadly in one or more regions of the visible and near-infrared spectrum. Air Products will develop high-conductivity polymers with more efficient charge injection capability in OPV cells, thereby improving overall cell electrical performance. Konarka will further develop its patented, transparent, metallic grid electrode technology for the new cell and module architecture.

The technology will be suitable for use in windows capable of controlling transparency for privacy, regulating the wavelength of light passing through for energy conservation, and for aesthetics. Since the materials are capable of harvesting indoor as well as outdoor light, the solar modules can be integrated into building sensors, battery chargers, lighting and displays, and wireless security monitoring systems.


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