The power industry continues to be a hotbed of innovation, with activity driven by increased demand for solar energy and need for advancements to improve solar cell efficiency, and growing importance of technologies such as monocrystalline and polycrystalline nanomaterials for solar cells. In the last three years alone, there have been over 439,000 patents filed and granted in the power industry, according to GlobalData’s report on Innovation in Power: Crystalline nano-materials.

According to GlobalData’s Technology Foresights, which uses over 83,000 patents to analyse innovation intensity for the power industry, there are 90+ innovation areas that will shape the future.

Crystalline nano-materials is a key innovation area in power 

Crystalline nanomaterials are widely used in solar cells. Nanocrystalline materials are single-phase or multiphase polycrystals with ultrafine grain sizes ranging from 1 to 100 nm. For photosensitive light capture, nanocrystal coatings based on silicon, CdTe, or CIGS are applied to substrates.  

GlobalData’s analysis uncovers the companies at the forefront of each innovation area and assesses the potential reach and impact of their patenting activity across different applications and geographies.  According to GlobalData, there are 20+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established power companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of crystalline nano-materials. 

Key players in crystalline nano-materials – a disruptive innovation in the power industry

‘Application diversity’ measures the number of different applications identified for each relevant patent and broadly splits companies into either ‘niche’ or ‘diversified’ innovators.

‘Geographic reach’ refers to the number of different countries each relevant patent is registered in and reflects the breadth of geographic application intended, ranging from ‘global’ to ‘local’.

Nanoco Group is engaged in the research, development, and manufacturing of heavy-metal-free quantum dots and semiconductor nanoparticles. The company uses cadmium-free quantum dot (CFQD) technology to produce efficient, low-cost and lightweight solar cells as well as it offers enhanced energy efficiency, and seamless integration into existing production processes and enables tunable and high-efficiency lighting. Its products include cadmium-free quantum dots, CFQD quantum dot films, and nanoparticles which offer the potential for display, lighting, solar and biological imaging applications. Nanomaterials produced by Nanoco have the ability to absorb a wide spectrum of the sun’s energy. In November 2010, Nanoco developed a nanomaterial solar ink, which can be printed to form a thin film through techniques developed by Tokyo Electron

In terms of application diversity, Showa Denko , Samsung Group , and LTC are some of the leading patent filers in crystalline nano-materials. Based on geographic reach, LG , Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique , and Hydro-Quebec are some of the leading patent filers in crystalline nano-materials. 

To further understand the key themes and technologies disrupting the power industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Power.

GlobalData, the leading provider of industry intelligence, provided the underlying data, research, and analysis used to produce this article.

GlobalData’s Patent Analytics tracks patent filings and grants from official offices around the world. Textual analysis and official patent classifications are used to group patents into key thematic areas and link them to specific companies across the world’s largest industries.