Dr. Alan J. Heeger, co-founder and chief scientist of Konarka Technologies, has been awarded the Science and Environment Prize for his innovative research on solar cells made with flexible materials. The Prize recognizes scientists who have achieved relevant results in research on energy sources and its relation to the environment. The research is summarized in the abstract entitled, "Bulk Heterojunction Solar Cells Fabricated from Semiconducting Polymers."
In his research, Dr. Heeger has created a new approach to efficient, low-cost, large-area, flexible and lightweight solar cells. His work in this area over the past decade has provided a firm scientific foundation for "plastic" bulk heterojunction solar cells. He and his colleagues have made important progress toward the commercial realization of this goal. The first "plastic" solar cells fabricated from large-scale, high-speed printing were successfully demonstrated in July 2006.
Dr. Heeger shares the Prize with Armand Paul Alivisatos for his studies on very thin solar cells composed of miniscule photosensitive crystals (nanocrystals). This year, candidates originated from 19 countries, with 103 submissions for the award. The Prize will be given by the President of Italgas Paolo Caropreso during an Official Award Winning Ceremony to be held in Torino in March 2007.