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Current Affairs

Kum kum dye for eco-friendly solar cells

Date: 01 September 2019 Tags: Energy

Issue

 

IIT-Hyderabad researchers recently developed a dye-sensitised solar cell based on New Fuchsin dye. The product is cheap and eco-friendly as it leaves very less carbon footprint.

 

Background

 

A dye-sensitized solar cell (DSSC, DSC, DYSC or Grätzel cell) is a low-cost solar cell belonging to the group of thin film solar cells. It is based on a semiconductor formed between a photo-sensitized anode and an electrolyte, a photoelectrochemical system.

 

Details

  • Most familiar solar cells today are made up of silicon and can be seen in the various overhead panels and other places  but this technology is limited by huge fabrication costs as silicon processing is very expensive and involves very high temperature methods that leave a large carbon footprint.
  • The dye-sensitised solar cell (DSSC) is based on New Fuchsin (NF) dye with aqueous electrolyte and platinum-free counter electrodes, 
  • The new dye developed is cheap, non-toxic and is soluble in water and importantly does not degrade in the presence of water.
  • The development ‘Low cost ‘green’ dye sensitized solar cells is based on New Fuchsin dye with aqueous electrolyte and platinum-free counter electrodes. Inexpensive material for the completed solar cell is a conductive carbon fabric. 
  • These liquid-electrolytes come with various drawbacks such as high vapour pressure, toxicity and sometimes explosives resulting in severe environmental impact in addition to being corrosive to the platinum counter-electrodes, thereby limiting long-time stability of the devices.