25 May '12, 2pm

Liquid-to-Solid Material Leads to Cheaper, More Environmentally-Friendly Solar Cell

Liquid-to-Solid Material Leads to Cheaper, More Environmentally-Friendly Solar Cell

Researchers at Northwestern University have figured out a way to make a solar cell that is inexpensive to make, has a good operating efficiency , doesn't rely on toxic or scarce materials and lasts longer than typical dye-sensitized solar cells. A previous solar cell design that promised to deliver all of those advantages was the Grätzel cell, a dye-sensitized solar cell that was environmentally friendly and cheap to make. That cell had a major problem though -- the cell's dye-sensitized electrolyte was made with an organic liquid that would leak and corrode the cell, limiting it's lifetime to only 18 months. The Northwestern team set out to solve the problem of the Grätzel cell. Nanotechnology expert Robert P. H. Chang and chemist Mercouri Kanatzidis put their minds and respective expertise together to craft the new cell. The first part of the solution was a new electroly...

Full article: http://www.treehugger.com/solar-technology/liquid-solid-m...

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