Dye Sensitized Solar Cells are photovoltaic cells that convert any visible light into electrical energy. This technology was invented in 1991 by two Swiss professors named Michael Graetzl and Dr. Brian O’Regan. They are sometimes referred to as the “Graetzel Cell”. These new and improved solar cells are actually designed to mimic the way that light is absorbed and converted into energy in the natural photosynthesis process. The technology is able to be adjusted to produce electricity in a variety of light conditions both indoor and outdoor. This means that users are now able to convert both artificial and natural light into energy.
The Cells works in a 6-step process to convert the light into energy, detailed by the company that creates these cells currently, GCell.
- 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.
“Dye Sensitized Solar Cells | DSSC | GCell.” G24. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Dec. 2016.