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Home > News > Diatoms boost dye-sensitized solar cell efficiency

April 15th, 2009

Diatoms boost dye-sensitized solar cell efficiency

Abstract:
Researchers at the Oregon State University (OSU) and Portland State University claim that microscopic algae called diatoms could help triple the electrical output of experimental, dye-sensitized solar cells.

By trapping light inside the nanoscale pores of thin-film solar cells coated with diatoms, the engineers claim that more incident photons are captured to boost electricity generation, thereby greatly increasing efficiency.

"In our system, photons bounce around inside pores formed from diatom shells," said OSU professor Greg Rorrer, "making them three times more efficient."

Dye-sensitized solar cells work by absorbing photons on an inexpensive thin-film composed of dye molecules attached to a titanium oxide layer on a glass or plastic substrate. When the dye molecules absorb a photon, the resultant excitation injects electrons into the titanium, which transports them to the negative electrode.

Source:
eetasia.com

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