A patent landscape analysis for organic photovoltaic solar cells : identifying the technology's development phase
Faculty of Sciences. Bioscience Engineering
Engineering sciences. Technology
Renewable energy. - Oxford
, p. 5-11
Organic photovoltaics (OPV) have developed into a vast research area. Progress in various directions has made it difficult to monitor the technology's precise development state. We offer a patent landscape analysis over all OPV devices, their substrates and encapsulation materials to provide an overview of patenting activity from a historical, organizational, geographical and technological point of view. Such an exercise is instrumental for private companies and research institutes aiming at both internal or external technology creation. We discuss our findings in the context of the Industrial Life Cycle model and find OPV still residing in the fluid technology development phase. Technology development is still following an exponential growth path, with the majority of patents coming from the Asian continent and in general private companies. For devices, the main technological focus can be traced back to the "H01L-031" international patent classification (IPC) main group. For the queried substrates, the most attention has gone to glass, but paper and textile have drawn significant interest too. Finally, encapsulation is found to be a less mature research field given the smaller number of patent families. The latter shows that the technology has not matured to the level where processing is carried out on a commercial scale. (C) 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.