Record Efficiency for Organic Solar Cells Obtained by Michael Gratzel

Michael Gratzel, the inventor of organic solar cells and a professor at EPFL (Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne) in Switzerland is hitting headlines again with the latest achievement in the field of organic photovoltaics: an efficiency figure of 15 percent.

His new solid-state dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSC) are two percent more efficient than the last iteration, but this can mean a lot if the technology is mass-produced and commercialized on a large scale.

Gratzel used a perovskite structure (CH3NH3PbI3) as a dye sensitizer and a hole transport material consisting of organic materials acting as electrolyte. TechOn reports its DSSC as having the structure of glass/FTO/TiO2/CH3NH3PbI3/HTM/Au.

In 2009, a team of researchers from Toin University in Yokohama, Japan, proposed the same formula, but that only yielded a 3.8% efficiency. The secret lied in the particle diameter of the perovskite material, and the original inventor seems to have figured that out eventually.

Three years ago, Michael Gratzel received a price of more than $1 million as the Millennium Technology Prize for inventing DSSCs.


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