A Korean team led by Nam-Gyu Park has recently made a breakthrough discovery in solar cell development. This discovery will not only increase the efficiency of thin-film panchromatic solar cells but as well the use of clean and reusable energy on the entire globe.
The Korean Institute of Science and Technology (KIST) team was able to stack three different color layers on a nanogranular titanium dioxide (TiO2) film. This allows the dye sensitized solar cell (DSSC) panchromatic film to absorb and convert all visible rays found in nature into power, meaning more electricity than what we would expect from conventional solar cells.
As a next generation of solar cells, the new transparent, thin film solar cells are cheap to make, very light compared to conventional silicon-based cells. Being so light they can be attached to any kind of surfaces like windows or electronic devices.
Up to now development was limited to films with one dye color which had a lower maximum efficiency of 11%. Nam-Gyu Park said that “by using the so-called chromatography principle, the team was able to selectively coat yellow, red and green dyes onto the film”.
The efficiency of commercial silicon-based solar cells is between 20-24 %. Satellite solar cells go up to 40% but these are very expensive for mass production and hardly will they ever be use in commercial scope. The DSSC panchromatic films have an efficiency of 15-16 percent and are able to create a 30 mA current from a 1 square-centimeter surface and 20 nanometer thickness.
Supported by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, the discovery has been published in the latest issue of the Britain-based Nature Materials Journal.
I would say this discovery is fantastic and hope to see more of these coming from scientists all over the world. Let’s hope we find more solution for our environment’s poor health that our own indifference is sustaining.