Green Nanochemistry Approach to Titanium Dioxide Nanoparticle, Dye-Sensitized Solar Cells

Report No. ARL-TR-6033
Authors: Hailey E. Cramer; Mark H. Griep; Daniel S. Choi; Shashi P. Karna
Date/Pages: June 2012; 22 pages
Abstract: Dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs) are a class of thin-film solar cells which can be created using low-cost materials and natural dyes. They have the potential to achieve comparable efficiency to bulky silicon photovoltaic cells, while providing many other distinct advantages such as a more tunable band gap and device flexibility. In this research, anthocyanin, a natural dye extracted from various fruits, was used and tested as the photon harvesting/electron donating dye in titanium dioxide nanoparticle-based DSSCs. Anthocyanin molecules were extracted through mechanical pulverization and chemical extraction methods, with both being evaluated in a DSSC system. These results demonstrate that DSSCs made from chemically extracted blackberry-based anthocyanin cells produced almost 5× greater photocurrent density compared to DSSCs made through the mechanical pulverization method. The highest output was achieved with DSSCs created through the use of chemically extracted blueberry anthocyanin dyes, producing a photocurrent density, Isc, of 7.30 mA and an open circuit voltage, Voc, of 335 mV.
Distribution: Approved for public release
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Last Update / Reviewed: June 1, 2012