This new class of advanced solar cell can be likened to artificial photosynthesis due to the way in which it mimics natureâ€™s absorption of light energy.
Dye Sensitized solar cells (DSSC)Â were invented in 1991 by Professor Michael Graetzel and Dr Brian Oâ€™Regan at Ã‰cole Polytechnique FÃ©dÃ©rale de Lausanne (EPFL), Switzerland and is often referred to as the GrÃ¤etzel cell, we call it GCell.
DSSC is a disruptive technology that can be used to produce electricity in a wide range of light conditions, indoors and outdoors, enabling the user to convert both artificial and natural light into energy to power a broad range of electronic devices.
How does DSSC work?
- The dye is the photoactive material of DSSC, and can produce electricity once it is sensitized by light
- The dye catches photons of incoming light (sunlight and ambient artificial light) and uses their energy to excite electrons, behaving like chlorophyll in photosynthesis
- The dye injects this excited electron into the Titanum Dioxide (a white pigment commonly found in white paint)
- The electron is conducted away by nanocrystalline titanium dioxide (a nano-scale crystallized form of the titanium dioxide).
- A chemical electrolyte in the cell then closes the circuit so that the electrons are returned back to the dye
- It is the movement of these electrons that creates energy which can be harvested into a rechargeable battery, super capacitor or another electrical device.