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Taking solar technology up a notch
Date:5/23/2012

he sunlight-absorbing dye, where photons are converted into electricity, lies right between the two semiconductors.

Chang chose to use nanoparticles approximately 20 nanometers in diameter. This size optimizes the device, he said, increasing the surface area and allowing enough space between the particles for Kanatzidis' material to flow through and set.

Technically, this new cell is not really a Grtzel cell since the hole-conducting material CsSnI3 is itself light absorbing. In fact, the material absorbs more light over a wider range of the visible spectrum than the typical dye used in Grtzel cells. In the Kanatzidis-Chang cell, the CsSnI3 plays an additional role in the operation of the cell that is not played by the liquid electrolyte couple, and that role is light absorption.

"This is only the beginning," Chang said. "Our concept is applicable to many types of solar cells. There is a lot of room to grow."

The lightweight thin-film structures are compatible with automated manufacturing, the researchers point out. They next plan to build a large array of the solar cells.


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Contact: Megan Fellman
fellman@northwestern.edu
847-491-3115
Northwestern University
Source:Eurekalert

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