Technological changes take place in an orderly and selective manner, and occur in patterns. These patterns are shaped by the combination of technological and scientific principles, as well as economic and other social factors. The main path analysis (MPA) is a type of citation network analysis, which adopts the concept of Information Flow to find the most important path for the development of a field in a complex citation network. Therefore, a patent citation network is used to draw technological trajectories in this study in hopes of exploring the development of trajectory of the thin film photovoltaic solar technology before the mainstream design and the technological paradigm take into shape. With the changes in times, the sources and sinks of the main path will also change. The global main path (GMP) represents all possible routes that the sources made for this search. Thus, this study researches into the GMP. Further, it analyzes three GMPs according to different time periods. Each of the three GMPs has their own sources and sinks. Through the comparison of three different GMPs, the technological trajectory is to be understood. The changes of the GMPs show that the thin film solar technology was first based on amorphous silicon and microcrystalline silicon, and later the technology relies on the compound technology. The shift shows that the replacement of an underdeveloped GMP by an advanced one helps a company to monitor the research anddevelopment (R&D) plans and appropriate strategic decisions on technologies at any time. Also, it enables the company to avoid the impact of path dependence.
Proceedings of the 2nd International Conference on E-Society, E-Education and E-Technology