Significant advancement in dye-sensitized solar cells achieved

Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn
Reddit
Email

Researchers in South Korea have suggested a new approach to creating cost-effective and more efficient dye-sensitized solar cells, which will mean significant advancement in the thin-film market.

So far in the development of this thin-film technique, researchers have faced one major setback; the efficiency of the cells has been half that of the more commonly used silicon-based cells. However, this new approach will improve the power consumption rates of dye-sensitized solar cells by at least 50%.

Park Nam-gyu, a researcher from the Korea Institute of Science and Technology (KIST), said his team has discovered a breakthrough method, which enables a sequential bonding of dyes in the thin, titanium dioxide (TiO2) layers used in dye-sensitized solar cells.

Park said, ”In the existing prototypes, the TiO2 films bond with just one kind of dye, and developing techniques to allow the films to absorb dyes of different colours, thus allowing the solar cell to absorb and use a broader spectrum of daylight, has been a key issue.”

”We were the first to achieve this by developing materials in both the mobile and stationary phase that enables the selective position of dye molecules with different absorption ranges. This could significantly improve power conversion rates that currently max at 11%.”

Once commercialization of these cells has been achieved one should expect a huge shift in the solar market, as these dye-sensitized cells will be of the same efficiency as silicon-based cells, yet they will be far more cost-effective and much simpler to manufacture.

Although this is a major advancement in the solar field, it is of course still at a developmental stage, as many different prototypes are being made in order to find out which has the preferred specifications.

The basic design of these dye-sensitized solar cells is based on a semiconductor formed between a photosensitized anode and an electrolyte. The cells are made of a porous film of tiny, nanometer-sized TiO2 particles, which are covered with a layer of dye that is in contact with the electrolyte.

When contacted by sunlight, the dye injects a negative charge in the nano-particles and a positive charge into the electrolyte, thus converting the light into electrical energy.

The positioning of the dye molecules is critical in boosting power conversion rates, as it enables different absorption ranges in the TiO2 films. To achieve this, Park’s team mimicked the concept of the ”stationary phase” and ”mobile phase” in chromatography that is a scientific method that involves separating individual chemical compounds from mixtures. Involved in this process are two phases, the stationary phase and the mobile phase. These phases are fairly self-explanatory, however it is important to mention that the mobile phase involves moving in a definite direction.

Park’s team adopted the method of column chromatography, which involves a separation technique in which the stationary bed is a tube. The solid particles of the stationary phase fill the inside wall of the tube, leaving an uninterrupted path in the middle for the gas and liquid of the mobile phase.

In using the method to improve dye-sensitized solar cells, Park’s team used the porous TiO2 film, filled with polystyrene, as a stationary phase, while developing a Bronsted-based-containing polymer as a mobile phase. By controlling the release and accumulation of the substances, the researchers managed to vertically align yellow, red and green dyes within the TiO2 film, which was confirmed by an electron probe micro-analyzer.

23 August 2022
Intersolar South America, South America’s largest exhibition and conference for the solar industry, takes place at the Expo Center Norte in São Paulo, Brazil, on August 23–25, 2022, and has a focus on the areas of photovoltaics, PV production and solar thermal technologies. At the accompanying Intersolar South America Conference, renowned experts shed light on hot topics in the solar industry. In 2021 – despite the Covid-19 pandemic – Intersolar South America welcomed more than 28,000 visitors and over 1,000 conference attendees over 3 days. 200+ providers showcased their products. Combining local and international expertise, Intersolar South America brings together the PV and solar thermal sector to discuss the current status and strategic trends for Latin American PV markets, as well as technology innovations and new business opportunities. Overall, distributed generation is still driving momentum in the Brazilian market. Get 10% off with code 38LCF6KN
6 September 2022
Intersolar Mexico sits at the cross-section of photovoltaics, solar heating & cooling technologies, and energy storage. The event serves as the industry’s go-to source for invaluable technology trends and premier B2B contacts in the promising Mexican solar market. From September 6–8, 2022 Intersolar Mexico together with the co-located The GREEN Expo® and Aquatech Mexico will take place in Centro Citibanamex, Mexico City.
7 September 2022
The demand for rooftop solar PV is soaring, driven by falling costs of the technology against energy crises that are gripping countries globally. But while an increasing number of households turn to solar to generate their own electricity, there is now a need for more specialist equipment, technologies and services to ensure the solar transition can reach as many customers as possible. Delivering these is now a major challenge for rooftop solar installers. This webinar will analyse the characteristics of the rooftop solar market, discussing how the products, logistics, installation and servicing of solar systems has evolved in line with consumer demands.
14 September 2022
Join us in London for 2 days as we look at the UK’s new landscape for utility & rooftop solar. Understand the new opportunities within this GW-plus annual market!
15 September 2022
Bifacial PV modules will be the dominant solar PV technology globally within one or two years; in the utility-scale sector, their market share is already above 70%. This webinar will provide a clear view on the successful implementation of bifacial technology, maximizing system performance and minimising LCoE.
19 September 2022
RE+ 2022 is the umbrella event that includes SPI, ESI, RE+ Power, and RE+ Infrastructure. As North America's largest renewable energy event, it's a catalyst for industry innovation that's supercharging business growth in the clean energy economy.

Read Next

August 16, 2022
Chinese module manufacturer Risen Energy’s Hyper-ion module series has been tested and certified by German testing company TÜV SÜD.
August 16, 2022
US residential solar installer Sunnova plans to offer a US$425 million private placement of convertible senior notes due in 2028, to pay off debts and fund operating costs.
August 16, 2022
LevelTen Energy, a US firm that has developed a platform for renewable energy asset transactions, has launched new software that provides power purchase agreement (PPA) price data.
August 16, 2022
US solar product manufacturer Shoals Technologies Group saw record revenue and gross profit in the second quarter of 2022 due to strong demand for its combine-as-you-go system and a large number of new customers buying up components.
August 16, 2022
Australia’s Northern Territory has struck a deal with French energy major Total Eren to develop a 1GW green hydrogen project in the city of Darwin that will be powered by 2GW of solar PV.
August 16, 2022
Heterojunction cell and module producer Meyer Burger has secured European-made silicon wafers through a new supply agreement with Norwegian Crystals.

Subscribe to Newsletter

Upcoming Events

Upcoming Webinars
September 7, 2022
15:30 AEST (UTC +10)
Solar Media Events
September 14, 2022
London
Solar Media Events
October 4, 2022
New York, USA
Solar Media Events
October 11, 2022
Virtual event