In the year of 2008, Konarka Technologies, developed a printable solar panel film which can be used for photovoltaic solar panels. With the use of an inkjet printer they were able to produce solar panels as thin as a plain paper sheet through common inkjet printing process. Konarka developers replaced the ink that we commonly used in our everyday printing needs, with solar cell materials, while the sheet from where these matters will be printed are not just a typical paper sheet but a special and flexible plastic substrate. It became a hit since printed solar cells are way cheaper than silicon panels, however the option to release it for the masses is not considered yet.
Konarka's breakthrough was followed by another discovery from MIT Discoveries. Production and installation of solar panels are normally expensive, thus, once an alternative came into the consumer's view it will surely make a hype. That's what the MIT Researcher's figured out, a way from which solar cells can be printed onto paper materials using the printing process similar to an inkjet printer. The invention was called semiconductor-coated paper that features a carbon-based dyes that improved the solar cells efficiency by up to 2%.
As the most recent update regarding the application of inkjet printing, Max Plank Institute Of Colloid and Interfaces in Potsdam-Golm had a group of researchers which was led by Cristina Giordano, that was able to utilized paper sheets to produce conductive structures. Again with the use of an inkjet printer, they made it successful to deposit catalyst on sheets of paper and by simply applying heat into the surface, it eventually turn into a graphite capable of conducting electricity.
Source : Inhabitat
"To fabricate their electronics, the Potsdam researchers converted the cellulose in paper into graphite by using an iron nitrate catalyst laid down by a commercial inkjet printer. After being heated to 800 degrees Celsius in a nitrogen atmosphere, the cellulose expelled water until all that was left was pure carbon. These areas become conductive, while the non-printed areas are less able to move electrons."