07 May '12, 12pm

Plain Jane Zinc Gives Solar Power a Technicolor Spark

Plain Jane Zinc Gives Solar Power a Technicolor Spark

Researchers from the University of Basel in Switzerland are developing low cost solar cells made with zinc , a cheap and abundant material. Zinc is an uninteresting gray in its natural state, but the team has figured out a way to use it for creating colorful dyes, which could lead to the next generation of cheap, dye-sensitized solar cells. Coloring the way to low cost solar The use of dyes to boost solar cell efficiency has been the subject of intense research for the past several years, but until now zinc has been somewhat overlooked. Lead researcher Ed Contable has admitted that “most chemists consider zinc to be a ‘boring’element,” since most of the compounds derived from it are relatively colorless. A cheaper foundation for dye-sensitized solar cells According to the University of Basel, ruthenium dyes are used in typical dye-sensitized solar cells. However, ruthenium...

Full article: http://cleantechnica.com/2012/05/07/u-of-basel-uses-zinc-...

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