Thursday, May 31, 2012

A breakthrough dye-sensitized solar cell enhances power efficiency

Solar power is known as an exemplary way to generate sustainable power. Solar researchers across the world are working tireless to boost the efficiency of solar cells of various genres. Of late, a team of researchers at the Northwestern University has advanced up with an innovative breakthrough in solar cell efficiency. The researchers have shaped up a reliable dye-sensitized solar panel that is cheaper and can ensure better power efficiency than the regular cells.

Stable dye-sensitized solar cell
The inventive solar technology is really a variant of the Grätzel cell, a kind of dye-sensitized solar cell, which makes use of semiconductor titanium oxide in place of the conventional silicon material. The outcome is that the solar cell, which is named after the Swiss chemist Michel Grätzel, delivers better power efficiency and is inexpensive, less toxic and certainly environmental in several aspects, the researchers claim.

In fact, the breakthrough the researchers have achieved is their successful attempt to solve a persisting problem with the Grätzel design. Since it makes use of an organic liquid as its electrolyte, there is a chance that it may leak in various conditions. The leaked liquid is threatening because it will corrode the entire cell. Well, it is here the Northwestern University researchers have proved their credential well.

 They developed a fresh material called the CsSnI3 that can solidify the liquid and prevent seepage under any condition.

The CsSnI3 is a very slim film compound, which merges cesium, iodine and tin. It is basically added in liquid form to dye-coat nanoparticles, but it turns to a solid mass so that there won’t be any leakage issue. Well, as per the lead researcher, Robert P.H Chang, it is the first demo of a solid-state dye-sensitized solar cell that can definitely ensure better efficiency than the current solar technologies.