Japan-based Tanaka Precious Metals has taken out licenses from the National Central University, Taiwan, to manufacture and supply ruthenium-based dye compounds for next generation dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSC). The ruthenium complex dye was developed by Professor Chun-Guey Wu and post-doctoral researcher, Chia-Yuan Chen. In 2009, the scientific journal, ACS nano reported that it has a conversion efficiency of 11.4% and operates in the visible light wavelength range of approximately 400 to 750 nanometers.
Tanaka Precious Metals said it was developing a high-yield manufacturing process that would offer a stable supply and effective utilization of ruthenium metal in the dye, via recycling of ruthenium.
The company also noted that the CYC-B1 ruthenium complex dye with a conversion efficiency over 9.5% had also been licensed from the Taiwan University and has forecasted annual sales of the new dye of 300 million yen (US$3.9 million) by 2015.