Trends in patent applications for dye-sensitized solar cells
Dye-sensitized solar cell (DSC) technol. has grown into a massive field of research and development with a fast increasing no. of scientific publications and patent applications. We have created a database for patents and patent applications that deal with dye-sensitized solar cell technol. In this paper the database has been used to analyze the no. of patent applications over time, as well as tech., organizational, and geog. trends in patent applications for dye-sensitized solar cells. Activity in relation to DSC patents seriously took off after the millennium, with the majority of DSC patent applications coming from Asia. Almost 90% of the documents in the database derive from Japan, China, and Korea. From a tech. perspective, approx. 75% of the DSC patent applications deal with DSC materials, mainly semiconductor materials, dyes, electrolytes, and device substrates. The DSC patent situation is complex and we recommend any potential manufacturer of DSC devices and/or DSC components to carefully analyze their freedom-to-operate.