Printed and Flexible Electronics
For several years there have been many efforts to employ ink jet technologies in the fabrication of consumer electronics. The potential of displacing large and expensive pieces of electronic fabrication equipment and processes with seemingly appropriately scaled inexpensive alternatives is attractive. However, of course, the devil is in the details. Feature size, accuracy, registration, and materials all have several impacts on design rules, processing, performance, and the types of devices appropriate to the technology. Here we present a look at some of the materials and deposition challenges along with solutions developed at PARC.
This paper describes a particular high-performance CPV solution which compared to average flat-plate PV, uses 1/500th as much PV material and produces nearly twice as much electricity for a given collection area. The proposed solution is also smaller, cheaper, and easier to manufacture. These improvements enable generating electricity at less than half the cost possible with existing flat-plate technologies, potentially opening large new markets for clean solar energy.
Metamaterials (i.e., engineered electromagnetic structures), are poised to disrupt industries, create entirely new markets, and change society. The ability to design and fabricate materials with new functionalities opens the door to a new world of possibilities ¾it is now possible to realize Harry Potter’s invisibility cloak and optical black holes, which we once thought was impossible. Beyond the realms of science fiction, metamaterials can be tailored to either augment the functionality of existing devices or create new devices with superior performances.