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Home > News > Scientists achieve record light conversion efficiency in dye-sensitized solar cells

June 30th, 2008

Scientists achieve record light conversion efficiency in dye-sensitized solar cells

Abstract:
Researchers at the Changchun Institute of Applied Chemistry at the Chinese Academy of Sciences in China have achieved a record light conversion efficiency of 8.2% in solvent-free dye-sensitized solar cells.

This breakthrough in efficiency without the use of volatile organic solvents will make it possible to pursue large scale, outdoor practical application of lightweight, inexpensive, flexible dye-sensitized solar films that are stable over long periods of light and heat exposure.

Dye-sensitized solar cell technology, invented by Michael Gratzel at EPFL (Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne) in the 1990s, shows great promise as a cheap alternative to expensive silicon solar cells.

Dye-sensitized cells imitate the way that plants and certain algae convert sunlight into energy.

The cells are made up of a porous film of tiny (nanometer sized) white pigment particles made out of titanium dioxide. The latter are covered with a layer of dye, which is in contact with an electrolyte solution.

When solar radiation hits the dye, it injects a negative charge in the pigment nanoparticle and a positive charge into the electrolyte resulting in the conversion of sunlight into electrical energy.

The cells are inexpensive, easy to produce and can withstand long exposure to light and heat compared with traditional silicon-based solar cells.

Source:
beijingnews.net

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